Skip to main content

Full text of "Sure methods of improving health and prolonging life, or, A treatise on the art of living long and comfortably by regulating the diet and regimen : embracing all the most approved principles of health and longevity and exhibiting the remarkable power of proper food, wine, air, exercise, sleep, &c. in the cure of chronic diseases, as well as in the preservation of health and prolongation of life : to which is added the art of training for health, rules for reducing corpulence, and maxims of health for the bilious and nervous, the consumptive, men of letters, and people of fashion : illustrated by cases"

See other formats

6743 s 




V2; C:*^V>^ 
* - ^ SOS c?v »» ( c <£ c~ ? 

$ -s c 

L C S ^Tfe T c 

Be <c 

cc cc 

; f X«C CC 

CC c 

C CC - 

-v C,CC« 

< ccccar 

1 Q"«ooj C 

«<<T"c ^cr .v., 

Cc rv^c r p.. ^?r , 2 c c:c< 

^ 4...«C Ca ^g 

c c;cc 

' CCC 

c: o 


Ife a (£ C C- ■ 

JEjg* CCCC CIcgi 

c^ccccc c§ari? 



Surgeon General's Office 

*JteM2- . 

S Qj66j3Q(JQ&^.Q(y3Q£iQO0j ' 33,CQ>™^'''i r*l 

.1 \ „ - 

n **.£W^>- ■:•- ^0 \^ 





SA^e N 


3fOTY T* \ 


I A' ^ «. A ' ^ 

- ^ - r - ~ 

;2»c £»?#$ 





AND ~~ 









All the most approved principles of Health and Longevity, and exhibiting tbe 
remarkable power of proper Food, Wme, Air, Exercise, Sleep, &e. 
in the Cure of Chronic Diseases, as well as in the Preser- 
vation of Health, and Prolongation of Life. 


Rules for Reducing Corpulence, 






— — - — — — 










t m District of Pennsylvania, to tvil : 

BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the twenty-sixth day 
of* February in the fifty -second year of the Independence of the 
United States of America, A. D. 1828, Carey, Lea & Carey, of 
the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a 
book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words 
following, to wit : 

" Sure methods of improving health, and prolonging life ; or, 
a treatise on the art of living long and comfortably, by regula- 
ting the diet and regimen. Embracing all the most approved 
principles of health and longevity, and exhibiting the remark- 
able power of proper food, wine, air, exercise, sleep, &c. in 
the cure of chronic diseases, as well as in the preservation of 
health and prolongation of life. To which is added, the art of 
training for health, rules for reducing corpulence, and maxims 
of health, for the bilious and nervous, the consumptive, men 
of letters, and people of fashion. Illustrated by cases. By a 
Physician. First American edition, with additions." 

In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United 
States, intituled, " An Act for the Encouragement of Learn- 
ing, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to 
the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies, during, the times 
herein mentioned" — And also to the Act, entitled, " An Act 
supplementary to an Act, entitled, ' An Act for the Encou- 
ragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts 
and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies 
during the times therein mentioned,' and extending the bene- 
fits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching 
historical and other prints. 

Clerk of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 


The following sheets have been written 
with a view of making the reader acquaint- 
ed with the best and most certain means of 
improving his health, and prolonging his life, 
objects which all men consider of vital im- 
portance, although too few care to make 
themselves acquainted with the measures by 
which they are to be accomplished, and still 
fewer to follow those measures when known. 
This inconsistency is common to human na- 
ture ; but the present author is persuaded 
there are many persons who only require to 
be impressed with the fact, that there are 
certain means of ensuring a freedom from dis- 
ease, and a long life, in order to their making 
a proper use of them, and it has, therefore, 
been a principal object with him, so to treat 
his subject throughout, as to prove by incon- 
testible evidence, not only that the methods 
recommended are valuable, but also that 
they are in reality equal to the accomplish- 
ment of the objects proposed. He has, con* 


sequently, introduced the opinions and prac- 
tices of many persons of high respectabjlit\ 
and credit, both professional and unprofes- 
sional, with their happy results, and likewise 
cited many striking cases, all illustrative of 
the remarkable power of a correct diet and 
regimen in the preservation of health, the 
acquisition of strength, the cure of chronic- 
disease, and the prolongation of life. It has 
been the aim of the author to avoid the in- 
troduction of any thing irrelevant, superflu- 
ous, or doubtful, and even of that which is 
of inferior value, and to confine himself to 
an investigation of the undoubted sources 
of human health and longevity, and an ex- 
planation of the means by which these ends 
may be attained, with the greatest ease and 
certainty. On all subjects like the present, 
practical information, deduced from accu- 
rate and extensive experience, is alone of 
much real value, a fact which the author has 
endeavoured constantly to keep in view, in 
the composition of this volume ; and he may 
add, that in no instance has he delivered an 
opinion which has not been verified, either 
by personal observation ox feeling, or sanc- 
tioned by the authority of professional men, 
distinguished for judgment and ability. Much 
i hat the reader will find here, the author has 
been taught by experiment on his own per- 
son, and he can with much truth and satis- 
faction declare, that since he adopted the 


means now recommended, his health has 
been greatly benefited, and the probability 
of a lengthened existence considerably aug- 
mented. He trusts, therefore, that he may 
with propriety designate the present obser- 
vations as sure methods of attaining health 
and longevity. 

It is proper to remark further, that a larger 
space has been allotted to the consideration 
of Exercise, than to that of any other subject, 
because the author considers it the most im- 
portant. It appears to him the most import- 
ant for two reasons, the one is, on account of 
its general neglect, the other, because of its 
uncommon utility. Perhaps a third reason 
might with much propriety be added, viz. the 
unusual stress, laid on diet. In reference to 
the latter reason it ought to be observed, 
that no one has a stronger conviction of the 
value and necessity of attention to diet than 
the present author, but in all sciences we 
must learn to distinguish the relative value 
of different agents, if we would apply them 
with the best effects. In the directions now 
given by physicians for the preservation of 
health, and the cure of disease, so much 
stress is laid on diet, that regimen (of which 
exercise is the chief branch) is too often 
overlooked. It is not meant that it is en- 
tirely neglected, but that it does not gain the 
degree of attention which it merits. It is true, 
that a strict and spare diet is at this time 


found by almost every one to be useful, and 
by vast numbers absolutely necessary ; but 
this is an unnatural state, imposed on man 
in the present day, because his physical en- 
ergies are greatly impaired by sedentary and 
artificial habits, and his stomach, conse- 
quently, is not able to bear food in that 
quantity, or of that quality, which our fore- 
fathers fed upon with satisfaction and ad- 
vantage. This scanty diet, however, carries 
with it no adquate remedy for the evils of 
a sedentary mode of living. It is the "de- 
bauchery of inaction," and not of reple- 
tion, which has spread itself so extensively 
throughout this nation, and produced so 
alarming an increase of chronic diseases; 
and it is only by a return to active bodily ex- 
ertion that we can reasonably hope to rise 
above this unnatural condition. It is, there- 
fore evidently of primary importance, to di- 
rect the public to active exercise in the open 
air, as a means which will afford such per- 
manent tone and vitality to the solids, and 
such perfect purity to the fluids ; in short, 
which will so restore and establish the phy- 
sical energies of the whole frame, as to ren- 
der it, in a very great measure, superior 
to the deteriorating influence of external 
agents, and even to diet itself. 
Sept. 1827. 




Diet - 



Solid Food 

Section 1. 

- * 11 

Liquid Food 

Section 2. 





Air - - 

Section 1. 


Exercise - 

Section 2. 



Section 3, 



Section 4. 


Clothing - 

Section 5, 



Section 6. 
Training for Health - - - - 199 


Miscellaneous Subjects - 210 

Section 1. 
Reduction of Corpulence - - - 21 o 

Sf.ction 2. 
Maxims of Health for the Bilious and Ner- 
vous - - - - - - 21 »• 

Section 3. 
Maxims of Health for the Consumptive 2t20 

Section 4. 
Maxims of Health for Men of Letters 223 

Section 5. 
Maxims of Health for People of Fashion 230 

Section G. 
Rules and Hints for European Residents in 

India - - - - - 234 

Section 7. 
Ditto for European Residents in the West 

Prescriptions for Stomachic and Aperient 

Pills - - - - -21,' 






It is known that the celebrated Galen was bom 
with an infirm constitution, and afflicted in the 
early part of his life with many and severe ill- 
nesses, but having arrived at the twenty-eighth year 
of his age, he was brought, after due observation 
and consideration, to believe, that there were sure 
methods of preserving health and prolonging life, 
and having resolved to live thereby, he observed 
them so carefully, as never after to have laboured 
under any disorder, except occasionally, a slight 
feverishness, for a single day, owing to the fatigue 
which attending his patients necessarily brought 
upon him. By these means, he reached the great 
age of one hundred and forty years. We are cer- 
tain, also, that the noble Venetian Cornaro, per- 
tectly restored his health, after the age of forty, 
and prolonged his life to above a hundred years, 
by living according to the same rules. At the age 
of forty, irregularity and disease had brought him 


apparently to the very gatea of death, from which 
a correct mode of living so entirely delivered him, 
that he became hearty and strong, and always spoke 
with uncommon satisfaction of the constant sereni- 
ty of mind he consequently enjoyed. Admiral Hen- 
ry, of Rolvenden, in Kent, (who is, I believe, now 
living,) was, as late even as his fiftieth or sixtieth 
year, almost a martyr to various chronic diseases, 
and had been made a cripple by them, but was en- 
tirely restored by carefully and perseveringly ob- 
serving a proper course of living. Some years ago, 
he had reached the age of ninety -one, and was then 
totally without complaint, and could walk three 
miles to the neighbouring town of Tenterden, with- 
out stopping. Such are a few of the many exam- 
ples which might be produced, proving the extra- 
ordinary and almost incredible power of a correct 
diet and regimen, both in the prevention and cure 
of disease, and the prolongation of life. The na- 
ture of this diet and regimen, with its admirable 
.suitability to the accomplishment of these most de- 
sirable ends, it is my object to explain in the fol- 
lowing pages, and to illustrate by numerous au- 
thentic and striking examples; and I think these 
brief introductory remarks cannot be better con- 
cluded, than by assuring my readers, in the language 
of Galen, that " by a diligent observation and 
practice of these rules; they may enjoy a good 
share of health, and seldom stand in need of phy- 
sic or physicians. " 


Food is of two kinds, solid and liquid, which, 
for the sake of convenience, I shall consider in se- 
parate sections. 



All food is either of animal or vegetable origin. 
The former is, no doubt, more allied to our nature, 
and most easily assimilated to its nourishment; the 
latter, though digested with more difficulty, is the 
formation of the former, as vegetables are the nou- 
rishment of animals, and all food may, therefore, be 
said to be derived from this source. In many re- 
spects, however, animal and vegetable food differ, 
and this difference it is proper to remark, according 
to the various effects it displays on different parts 
of the human system, before we proceed to notice 
each kind separately. 

Animal food is highly favourable to labour, or 
great corporeal exertion. We can subsist longer 
upon it, without becoming hungry, than upon ve- 
getables, and derive, in most instances, greater 
strength from it. Where men are exposed to con- 
stant toil and exertion, or to extreme cold, they 
frequently require a more ready-condensed, and 


substantial nourishment, than vegetable aliment can 
bestow. As animal food consists of parts which 
have been already digested by the proper organs 
of an animal, and applied to the same uses, it 
consequently requires only solution and mixture, 
whereas vegetable food must be converted into 
a substance of an animal nature, by the proper ac- 
tion of our own viscera, and, therefore, requires 
more labour of the stomach and other digestive 
organs. It is for these reasons, that the dyspep- 
tic, the bilious, and the nervous, whose organs of 
digestion are weak, find, in general, animal food 
the most suitable; that those who live chiefly on 
flesh meat, can longer endure personal exertion 
than such as live upon vegetables alone; and that 
men inhabiting northern regions, where the vigour 
of the system is liable to be much weakened, and 
even exhausted, by extremes of temperature, and 
especially by the depressing agency of cold,, re- 
quire large quantities of animal food, as being 
the most stimulant and invigorating, in order there- 
by to counteract the injurious effects of their cli- 

On the other hand, it must be confessed that, 
in temperate climates at least, an animal diet is, 
in one respect, more wasting than a vegetable, be- 
cause it excites by its stimulating qualities, a tem- 
porary fever after every meal, by which the springs 
of life are urged into constant, preternatural, and 
weakening exertions. Again, persons who live 
chiefly on animal food are subject to various acute 
and fatal disorders; as the scurvy, malignant ulcers, 
inflammatory fevers, &c. ; and are likewise liable to 
corpulency, more especially when united to inor- 
dinate quantities of liquid aliment. There ap- 
pears to be also a tendency in an animal diet to 
promote the formation of many chronic diseases; 


and we seldom see those who indulge much in this 
diet, to be remarkable for longevity. 

In favour of vegetables it may be justly said, 
that man could hardly live entirely on animal food, 
but we know he may on vegetable. Vegetable 
aliment has likewise no tendency to produce those 
constitutional disorders, which animal food so fre- 
quently occasions, and this is a great advantage, 
more expecially in our country, where the general 
sedentary mode of living so powerfully contributes 
to the formation and establishment of numerous 
severe chronic maladies. Any unfavourable effects 
vegetable food may have on the body, are almost 
wholly confined to the stomach and bowels, and 
rarely injure the system at large. This food has 
also a beneficial influence on the powers of the 
mind; and tends to preserve a delicacy of feeling, 
a liveliness of imagination, and acuteness of judg- 
ment, seldom enjoyed by those who live principally 
on meat. Dr. Cullen observes, ''Vegetable ali- 
ment, as never over-distending the vessels, or load- 
ing the system, never interrupts the stronger mo- 
tions of the mind; while the heat, fulness, and 
weight of animal food, is an enemy to its vigorous 
effects." And Franklin states, that, in his younger 
days, he took entirely to a vegetable diet, and found 
his progress in study to be proportionate to that, 
clearness of ideas, and quickness of conception, 
which are the fruits of temperance in eating and 
drinking.* It should be added, that a vegetable 
diet, when it consists of articles easily digested, as 
potatoes, turnips, bread, biscuit, oat-meal, &c. is 
certainly favourable to long life. 

There are objections, however, to vegetable food, 

* Sir Isaac Newton lived entirely on vegetables whilst he 
was composing his famous Treatise on Optics. 



the principal of which are, its constant tendency 
to strong acescency, or sourness and tartness, 
which is highly injurious; its being with greater 
difficulty reduced to nourishment, or assimilated to 
the nature of man, an objection much felt by those 
who have weak stomachs, though the vigorous and 
-robust are not affected by it; and its extricating a 
considerable quantity of air, by which the stomach 
becomes distended, and much uneasiness is pro- 

From the preceding facts we rightly infer, that 
the combination of an animal and vegetable diet is, 
in general, best suited to preserve a perfect state 
of health and strength, and, as society is now con- 
stituted, to conduce to longevity. It has been cor- 
rectly remarked, that the perfection of man's cha- 
racter also requires this mixture. For while the 
Tartars, who live almost wholly on animal food, 
possess a degree of ferocity of mind, and fierceness 
of character, which form the leading feature of 
carnivorous animals; the entire vegetable diet of 
the Bramin and Hindoo, on the other hand, gives 
to their character and feelings, a gentleness, soft- 
ness, and mildness, directly the reverse of the Tar- 
tar, but with little elevation of mind; whereas, a 
proper mixture of both these kinds of aliment, 
forms individuals whose functions, both personal 
and mental, attain their highest state of perfec- 

The proportion of this mixture, is sometimes a 
matter of importance to the invalid, and persons of 
a weakly habit, and the circumstances which ought 
to guide them in this particular, may be pretty 
well ascertained from a consideration of what has 
just been said. It will be perceived, that it must 
depend chiefly on the bodily health of the indivi- 
dual, his occupation, and the nature of the climate. 


In regard to health, the valetudinarian will often 
iind that a small proportion of animal food is the 
best for him, and especially if he labours under any 
positive* disease, or a tendency thereto. In such 
a case, there is more or less feverishness, and all 
the secreting surfaces are, so to speak, bound up; 
a condition which an animal diet, from its stimu- 
lus, has a strong tendency to maintain and increase, 
and the mild, bland nature of vegetable food con- 
tributes to overcome. In the gout, for instance, 
a large proportion of vegetable food is, for the 
most part, to be recommended, particularly in the 
earlier attacks, and in plethoric habits. On the 
contrary, in those nervous and bilious complaints 
which consist in a simple derangement of the func- 
tions of the stomach and small intestines, (and such 
are the generality of these maladies,) a diet chiefly 
of animal food is found the best, because it is more 
easily digested than vegetables; in other words, i1 
does not require the exertion of so great a power 
in the weakened organs of digestion, while there is 
nothing in their condition to contraindicate its 
employment; but on this subject I need not say 
more, since it is one in which the skill of an en- 
lightened physician is generally requisite. 

Where little bodily exertion is employed, much 
animal food is improper, as it will load the body 
and oppress the mind; but when the bodily exercise 
or labour is constant and great, the use of animal 

* By positive disease is meant, a complaint which is as- 
sociated with some alteration or structure, or a change ap- 
proaching to it, and which does not consist in a simple de- 
rangement of function, or the absence simply of a healthy ac- 
tion of the organs affected. For example, the majority of 
cases of dyspepsia or indigestion, and bilious disorder, arc, 
particularly in the commencement, merely disorders of func- 
tion — there is only the absence of health ; but if they proceed 
unchecked and unalleviated, some change in the texture of 
the stomach, bowels, head, or other part, may be superin- 
duced, and then we have a positive disease. 


food ought to be liberal, and even the vegetables 
used should be of the most nourishing, or farina- 
ceous sorts. We see, therefore, that a vegetable 
diet is the best for the studious.* 

I have already remarked, that climate should 
make a great difference in the relative proportions 
of animal and vegetable food consumed by man. 
In warm climates, the latter ought greatly to 
preponderate; while in cold regions much animal 
food may be taken with advantage. And in Great 
Britain the different seasons should be attended 
with a suitable change in this respect. In the sum- 
mer, our diet should be almost wholly vegetable, at 
least during the hottest months, and especially with 
the plethoric; while in the winter, we may 'safely 
recur to a proper mixture of both kinds of food. 

It is worthy of observation also, that vegetable 
food is much the best for children, after they have 
done with their nurse's milk, and indeed, for young 
people in general, to whom a great deal of meat is 
highly pernicious. 

Having now made a few necessary observations 
on the preceding points, I shall proceed at once to 
point out the qualities of the chief articles used as 
food by man, both animal and vegetable, with the 
proper times of eating and drinking, and the quan- 
tity best adapted to the purposes of health and 
longevity; in order that those who are earnestly 
desirous of becoming acquainted with the art of 
living long and comfortably, and of adhering 
thereto, may not be at a loss on any point of con- 
sequence relating to so material a branch of that art 
as diet. 

* A vegetable diet often imparts to the mind great vigour 
and clearness, but the studious are often afflicted with fuch 
weak digest.ons that they cannot confine themselves to vee-e- 
table food, without suffering from flatulence and other distress 
ing symptoms of indigestion. wsiress- 



The animals most commonly killed for the pur- 
pose of food, are the common bull and cow, the 
sheep, the calf, the lamb, the common stag, the 
fallow deer, the domestic boar, and sow, the hare 
and rabbit, the amphibious animals the turtle and 
frog, and various kinds of birds and fishes. 

Bull beef is rarely eaten, on account of its dry, 
tough, and indigestible nature; but the flesh of the 
ox, or castrated animal, called ox-beef, is a highly 
nourishing and wholesome food, readily digested 
when fresh, by healthy persons, and constituting 
a principal part of the common diet of the inhabit- 
ants of this and many other countries. It is the 
most strengthening of all kinds of animal food, and 
is almost the only species of such food that is in 
season throughout the year. Cow-beef is not so 
tender, nor so nourishing, nor so digestible as ox- 

Mutton is well known to be a highly nutritious 
and wholesome meat. It appears to be the most 
digestible of all animal food, and is perhaps more 
universally used than any other. Wether mutton 
is most esteemed, as being in general by far the 
sweetest and most digestible. Ewe mutton, if it 
is more than between three or four years old, is 
tough and coarse, but it is said, that a ewe that has 
not had a lamb the season before she is killed, 
yields as good mutton as a wether of the same age; 
the quality of the flesh, however, depends in a 
great measure on the nature of the pasture. We- 
ther mutton, when fed on a dry pasture, near the 
sea-shore, and at five years of age, is in its highest 
state of perfection. 


Veal, although affording less nutriment than the 
flesh of the full-grown beast,* is tender and nourish- 
ing; but is not so easily digested, nor so well suited 
to weak stomachs, as is commonly imagined. In- 
deed, in all stomach complaints, it is altogether im- 
proper, more especially when minced. It is not, 
however, of a very heating nature, and may there- 
fore be allowed to patients convalescent from an at- 
tack of fever or inflammation, in preference to beef 
or mutton, and also to those who have a disposition 
to bleeding from the lungs, or elsewhere, especially 
with the addition of some acid. The juicy kidney- 
piece, or the breast of veal, deserve the preference 
of the valetudinarian. The flesh of calves which 
have been robbed of their blood by repeated bleed- 
ings, or reared by the hand with milk adulterated 
with chalk, and confinement in small dark places, 
so as to prevent all motion, is much depraved, being 
less wholesome and digestible than that of the 
healthy animal just taken from the cow. 

Lamb being less heating and less dense than 
mutton, is sometimes better suited to persons con- 
valescent from acute diseases, but by the majority 
of patients labouring under indigestion, or any other 
severe affection of the stomach, it is not found so 
digestible as wether mutton. It is, however, a light 
and wholesome food, especially when the lamb is 
not killed too young: from five to six months old 
is the best age. House-lamb is a dish esteemed 
chiefly because it is unseasonable. Like all animals- 
raised in an unnatural manner, its flesh is depraved 
and unwholesome. The flesh of the common stag 
and fallow deer, is well known under the name of 
venison, and is very digestible, wholesome, and nu- 

* It may be laid down, as a general rule, that the flesh of 
young animals is less nutritious and less easy of digestion than 
nat of full grown. ° 


tritious. The common stag should not be killed till 
he is above four years old, and the flesh is fattest and 
best flavoured in the month of August. That of the 
fallow deer is, however, on the whole,, the best. 

Good pork is a very savoury food, and affords 
strong nourishment, suited to persons who lead an 
active or laborious life, but is not easily digested, 
nor can it be considered wholesome. The too fre- 
quent and long continued use of this meat favours 
obesity, produces foulness of the stomach and bow- 
els, and occasions disorders of the skin. Some wri- 
ters think that pickled pork is the best mode of 
using this sort of meat, but this appears to me an 
error, and 1 think it will be found, that the salt in- 
stead of making it more digestible, renders it less 
so, and also less wholesome. With some delicate 
people it immediately affects the bowels in rather 
a violent manner. The flesh of the sucking pig is 
reckoned a great delicacy, is very nourishing, and 
perhaps more wholesome than that of the full grown 
animal; but it is not readily digested, and is not pro- 
per for the weak or sickly. Bacon is a coarse, 
heavy, and very indigestible food, only fit to be 
eaten by robust and labouring people. All valetu- 
dinarians should partake very sparingly of ham, 
even when of the best sort. Those who have an 
impure state of the fluids, wounds, or ulcers, or a 
tendency to cutaneous eruptions, as well as those 
afflicted with indigestion, cough, or consumption, 
should refrain from the use of pork. 

The hare and rabbit are sufficiently wholesome 
and nutritious. The flesh of the rabbit is softer, 
more digestible, and less heating, than that of the 
hare; but it is not so nourishing. The leveret is 
much the best for the valetudinary. Wild rabbits 
are not only more digestible, and palatable, but 
likewise more wholesome, than such as are domes- 


ticated. In the opinion of the present author, these 
animals, although very wholesome and digestible, 
yet cannot in these respects be compared to mutton 
or venison, particularly for delicate persons. 

The turtle, when dressed in its natural state, is 
a most nourishing and palatable food; and the es- 
culent frog tastes much like chicken. 

Of birds, the following species afford excellent 
nourishment, and are, for the most part, easily di- 
gested, viz: — the common fowl, partridge, phea- 
sant, turkey, Guinea hen and quail, and the com- 
mon pigeon, lark, thrush, and fieldfare. These 
birds, in point of digestibility, rank nearly as they 
are here placed, the barn-door fowl being the most 
delicate and digestible, particularly when about a 
year old, and allowed freely to range about. Ca- 
pons, more especially poulardes, or hen capons, 
are accounted particularly delicate, and well cal- 
culated for invalids. The woodcock, snipe, and 
grouse, furnish excellent and savoury food, and are 
very easy of digestion. 

The goose is fit only for strong stomachs, and 
those who labour hard. The tame duck is much 
more wholesome than the goose, when properly fed, 
and kept not on stagnant, but near running waters; 
yet it is not very easy of digestion, particularly the 
fat parts. Wild water-fowl cannot be much recom- 
mended, being generally* heavy and indigestible. 
The teal is reckoned the best of this kind of fowl. 

It is very probable that the eggs of all the birds 
now mentioned, and perhaps of most others, might 
be employed as food, but the preference is justly 
given to those of the common hen, the Guinea hen, 
and the duck. The eggs of these birds, and espe- 
cially of the domestic fowl when new laid, yield 
a mild, demulcent, and strengthening aliment, well 
calculated for consumptive and delicate persons, and 


such as are exhausted by immoderate evacuations, 
or intense study. When properly cooked, as, for 
instance, boiled for two minutes and a half, or very 
lightly poached, very few things equal them in 
point of facility of digestion. If boiled hard or 
fried, they sit heavy on the stomach, and are un- 
wholesome, at least to invalids. Raw eggs are high- 
ly nutritive, gently laxative, and of service in cases 
of jaundice,* and weakness and disorder in the di- 
gestive organs. Among some persons, a notion pre- 
vails that eggs are improper for the bilious, but it 
is incorrect. 

The wholesomeness oifish in diet has been much 
disputed. To many, it forms a most delicious food, 
but, in the opinion of the present author, it affords 
little nourishment,! and is, for the most part, of 
difficult digestion, and this I think to be the gene- 
ral sentiment of intelligent medical men. Dr. Paris, 
indeed, in his treatise on diet, seems disposed to 
consider it as easy of digestion, but I have been long- 
convinced to the contrary, and am persuaded that 
most invalids will verify my conviction. An able 
reviewer (Dr. Johnson) of Dr. Paris's book, be- 
lieves all fish digested with difficulty. Being of all 
animal substances the most putrescible, it is much 
inferior in quality to birds and quadrupeds, and, on 
this account, it appears questionable whether it 
ought at least in many cases to be allowed to fe- 
brile patients, or convalescents from acute diseases. 
The fat of fish is still more insoluble and indigesti- 
ble than that of other animals, and readily turns 
rancid. Acid sauces and pickles, calculated to resist 

* The vulgar belief that eggs are serviceable as a remedy in 
jaundice, is entirely erroneous, it originated in the doctrine ot 
signatures, they are useful, only, as an article of diet. 

-j- As a proof how little nutritive substance is to be found in 
fish, it may be observed, that the jockeys, who, to reduce their 
weight, waste themselves at Newmarket, are not allowed meat, 
nor even pudding, when fish can be got. 


putrefaction, render fish somewhat better, and more 
wholesome for the stomach, while butter has a ten- 
dency to impede digestion, and to promote the cor- 
ruption of its flesh; on the contrary, spice and salt, 
used in moderate quantities, stimulate the fibres ol 
the stomach, and facilitate the digestive process. I 
. good ketchup to be among the most whole- 
best of sauces for fish. * 
Salt-water fish are the best of any, as their flesh 
lid, more agreeable, and healthy, less ex- 
posed to putrescency, and less viscid. They possess 
these desirable qualities, when fresh; when salted, 
they have all the properties of salt fish, and conse- 
quently its disadvantages; Those fish which have 
scales are, in general, the most easily digested, and 
the best; and of all these the fresh herring appears 1 
to deserve the preference. The herring, the whi- 
ting, the sole, the cod, the dory, the turbot, and 
the flounder, are perhaps the most digestible and 
most wholesome of fish.t Salmon, mackerel, skate. 
and sturgeon, with lobster, and most other kinds 
of shell fish, are digested with difficulty, and not 
wholesome. The valetudinary should avoid them. 
Oysters form an exception to the remark just 
made respecting the objectionable qualities of shell- 
fish, they being, when eaten raw, highly nutritious, 
and of very easy digestion. They may be taken 
with great advantage by the ro"bust, as well as the 
weak and consumptive^ and are well adapted as 

* It is worthy of remark, that fish and milk ought never to 
be taken at the same meal, being' a particularly' indigestible 

f To these may be added the trout, the pearch, the rock, 
the sheeps head, &c. of this country. 

t They are highly worthy of the attention of the consump- 
tive, and will, to them, prove at once both medicine and 
food, as they possess considerable effect in allaying those 
warm flushings of the lace, heat in the hands, and other fever 
ish symptoms, usually felt in declines, at the same time that 
th<y arc savoury, digestible, and nutritive. 


un article of diet for those liable to costiveness, as 
they are generally attended with a laxative eifeet. 
By being cooked, they are hardened, and likewise 
deprived of the salt-water, which promotes their 
digestion in the stomach. Stewed oysters are par- 
ticularly indigestible and unwholesome, and should 
never be eaten by the sick, or the delicate. To 
lying-in women they are extremely pernicious. 

It will now be necessary to notice some of the 
miscellaneous animal products, of a solid kind, 
the chief of which are butter, cheese, curds, and 

Butter, fresh and well made, and taken in mo- 
derate quantities, spread cold on bread, is nutritious, 
and, in general, not difficult of digestion; but if 
eaten very freely, it is certainly pernicious, particu- 
larly to such persons as have weak digestive or- 
gans. Melted butter, and salt butter, are unwhole- 

Cheese is digested with difficulty. Many sup- 
pose it to assist the digestion of other food, but I 
think this is a mistake. In some cases, where too 
much food has been taken at dinner, it has the 
power of allaying the present uneasiness in the sto- 
mach, thereby occasioned; but it is at least very 
questionable, whether it in any degree promotes 
the digestive process. It is a difficult question to 
determine satisfactorily, but in my opinion the 
real fact is, that it impedes the subsequent diges- 
tion of the food. It cannot be considered very 
nutritious, and being the coarsest and most gluti- 
nous part of the milk, is an aliment suited only 
to strong stomachs, and to such persons as use 
great and constant exercise. It is of a constipa- 
ting nature, and should be altogether avoided by 
those of a costive habit of body. A good deal of 
salt should alwavs be eaten with it. Cream cheese. 


and toasted cheese, is still more indigestible and 

Curds are not to be recommended. Taken in 
considerable quantity, they are highly oppressive 
to the stomach. 

Honey is nutritive, and to those who take much 
exercise abroad, is sufficiently digestible and 
wholesome, if used moderately. If more than a 
small quantity be taken, it is apt, like all other* 
sweet things, to cloy the stomach. Sir John Prin 
gle used to recommend it very strongly, and con- 
sidered it worthy of being called, the juice of long 
life, but this was going much too far. It ought 
never to be eaten without bread. 

Blanc-mange is a solid animal product, much 
recommended to the sick and delicate, but is not 
at all suited to their state, being digested with some 
difficulty, and apt to disorder the stomach. It 
is best when eaten with biscuit or stale bread. 

The following are some general considerations, 
respecting the use of animal food, which I think 
deserving notice. 

1. In the choice of animal food, we should al- 
ways consider whether it is in season or not, for 
the same sort of meat which at one period of the 
year is good, may at another be hurtful. The pro- 
per season for each class of animals is, when their 
natural nourishment is in greatest plenty. 2. It 
is likewise advisable, especially in the case of in- 
valids, to have a regard to the season of the year, 
as it respects the kind of animal food eaten, select- 
ing in the spring and summer that meat which is 
easiest of digestion and least heating. The best 
time for the consumption of fish, is in the summer. 
3. In choosing animal food, particularly beef, al- 
ways look out for that, the flesh of which is finely 
marbled, because this is one of the strongest proofs 


that the animal has been properly fed, and has not 
been deprived of its natural exercise, a sufficient 
degree of which is essential to the wholesomeness 
and perfection of the flesh. When animals are con- 
fined in a stall, and hastily fatted, the fat instead 
of being equally dispersed through the muscular 
parts, invariably accumulates in the cellular mem- 
brane, and therefore appears chiefly or wholly in 
a few places. 4. Animal food whose fibres have 
little fluid between them, that is, dry meat, is 
more indigestible than moist. For this reason, 
lean animals are harder of digestion than fat ones, 
and the lean part of fat meat is, therefore, the best. 
5. Meat should always be kept for some time be- 
fore it is dressed, in order to its becoming tender, 
juicy, and easy of digestion. 


The various articles of nourishment we derive 
from the vegetable kingdom, may with propriety 
be divided into five orders, viz. 1. The different 
species of farina, or grain, such as wheat, rye, 
barley, oats, and rice; 2. The legumes, or pulse, 
such as peas, beans, SfC.; 3. The various kinds of 
salads and pot-herbs; 4. All the different kinds of 
roots; and 5. fruits. 

The farinaceous vegetables are, of all others, the 
most wholesome and nourishing, and of these the 
preference is justly given to wheat. Bread is with 
propriety called the staff of life. Home-made 
leavened bread, of a day or two old, is extremely 
easy of digestion, wholesome and nutritious;* but 

* Its nutritious quality is shown by the fact that Franklin 
lived on ten pounds of it for two weeks, and Dr. Starke, when 
he ate 38 oz. a day, increased regularly in weight. 


we cannot speak in so favourable terms of baker's 
bread, and new bread of any sort is difficult of di- 
gestion, and unwholesome. It is of some conse- 
quence, that the invalid should have home-made 
bread. Bread made with new flour, is more palata- 
ble than that made with old, but is not so digestible. 
Of the two sorts of bread, viz. the fine white bread, 
and the coarse brown bread, the latter is the most 
easy of digestion, and the most nutritive. This is 
contrary to the general belief, but is proved by the 
fact, that a dog fed on the former, with water, 
both at discretion, does not live beyond the fiftieth 
day ; but if fed on coarse bread with water, pre- 
cisely in the same manner, he preserves his health. 
A mixture of rye flour and wheat flour, in equal 
proportions,, or as one-third of the former to two- 
thirds of the latter, forms very good bread, and is 
particularly eligible for the costive.* 

There is no sort of unleavened bread which is 
wholesome, excepting biscuit. Plain biscuit is very 
proper for the sick and delicate, from being light- 
er, and less liable to create acidity and flatulence, 
than even good bread. The best biscuits, how- 
ever, are not those which are made with the finest 
flour, for the reason just adduced. 

Puddings made with flour are, for the most part, 
wholesome, when taken in moderate quantity, but 
are not so easy of digestion as bread, or animal 
food. The simpler the pudding is, and the nearer 
it approaches to the nature of bread, the more di- 
gestible and wholesome it is. All puddings form- 
ed with much fat or butter, or mixed with fat in 
the cooking, are to be avoided by the invalid as 
indigestible. Pastry can be taken with impunity 

* Rye flour is more laxative than wheat, and is therefore use- 
ful as aii ai.icle of diet in habitual costiveness, but is improper 
:n an opposite condition of the bowels. 


only by those accustomed to labour ■ hard ; the se- 
dentary and the invalid find it very difficult of di- 
gestion, and unwholesome. It is best cold, parti- 
cularly if two or three days old. 

Barley is a nutritious, wholesome, and very use- 
ful vegetable. Pearl barley, well boiled in water, 
forms a diluting, slightly nutritive drink, of much 
service to all sick persons. In the summer, it is 
a very wholesome drink for persons generally. 

Oats, when boiled or deprived of the husk, and 
reduced to groats or meal, are used as a common 
article of diet for the infirm and sick, in Great Bri- 
tian, France, and Germany. About fifty years 
ago, it was calculated, that nearly a fourth part of 
the inhabitants of Great Britian lived upon oat 
bread; and it is supposed, that under an improved 
system of agriculture, more nourishment per acre 
may be obtained from oats, than from the same 
quantity of barley or rye; but to wheat it is evi- 
dently inferior. Boiled in water, oats impart a 
thick mucilage, which is very nourishing, whole- 
some, and digestible. This refers only to the mu- 
cilage obtained from genuine groats, or oatmeal, 
procured from a mealman who can be depended 
upon; as the oatmeal in common use is, I am sorry 
to say, too frequently an impure article; and it is 
to be feared that all patent prepared groats and 
meal, as they are called, are adulterated, and not 
worthy of confidence. 

Rice is a nutritious and wholesome vegetable. 
It is easy of digestion, when taken in conjunction 
with some condiment, as cinnamon, nutmeg, alspice, 
and the like; these additions make it more palat- 
able as well as more wholesome, and obviate its 
tendency to confine the bowels. It is almost the 
only food of the native inhabitants of India, Bur- 
mah, and other populous Eastern countries, which 


renders it probable, that it furnishes subsistence to 
greater numbers of human beings than all the other 
grains put together.* 

All vegetables of the pulse kind are liable to 
strong objections, as articles of diet fof civilized 
man. They are very indigestible, heating, pro- 
ductive of great flatulency, and contain little nou- 
rishment. Both peas and beans, whether green or 
dried, oppress the stomach, and are fit to be eaten 
only by the strong and laborious, or those who 
take much exercise. Pea-soup, although most 
grateful in cold weather, is very indigestible and 
unwholesome, at least to all but the robust, who 
use much active exercise abroad. 

French Beans, however, are among the best ve- 
getables our gardens produce. I mean the young 
green pod, eaten as it usually is in England. 

The best pot-herbs are asparagus and artichokes, 
more especially to those troubled with gravel. 
Young spring greens and cabbages are wholesome, 
but after the spring season they become indigestible, 
flatulent, and pernicious. Young brocoli and cau- 
liflower also are useful vegetables; but I think spi- 
nage rarely agrees with the human stomach. 

Salads, Lettuce, and all undressed vegetables oi 

* Ale should never be drank after rice and milk, as it is al- 
most certain of producing colic, or some other disorder in the 

Buck-wheat is much used as an article of food in this coun- 
try; cakes made of it are not unwholesome, but when soaked 
in" butter as they sometimes are, they are very difficult of di- 

Indian corn is another article of diet very extensively used 
in this country. It is sometimes eaten when very young-, or, 
s.s it is called, green ; in which state it is nothing more than an 
esculent vegetable, and is difficult of digestion. A proof of 
this is afforded by the fact, that the grains will sometimes pass 
through the bowels unaltered. In its ripe state it is very nu- 
tritious, and not difficult of digestion. 


this kind, contain little nourishment, and are not 
much to be recommended. The bittere'st sorts are 
the most wholesome and digestible. Radishes and 
cucumbers should not be touched by the weakly, 
or the invalid. Lettuce is the most wholesome of 
this description of vegetable, and when blanched, 
from being soporific, may sometimes be advantage- 
ously used at supper, by those who are frequently 
disturbed by restless nights. 

The fourth order of vegetables consists of all the 
esculent roots, of which the potato, the turnip. 
and the onion, are the most wholesome and nutri- 
tious, and the most easy of digestion. We may 
consider it as an unerring rule, that any kind of 
aliment for which we feel a natural and permanent 
appetite, is salutary, and comfortable to our nature. 
Of this kind is that invaluable root the potato, which, 
in the most simple preparation, and without any ad- 
dition but salt, affords an agreeable and wholesome 
food to almost every person. It is the best substi- 
tute we possess for bread, being a light, alimentary 
substance, neither viscid nor flatulent, and having 
little tendency to acidity. It is, consequently, 
very nutritious, and, for the most part, easy of di- 
gestion. A few dyspeptic and bilious people, in- 
deed, find it to disagree, more especially if not well 
cooked, or if not of a good sort; but this is a rare 
occurrence. A convincing proof of its highly nu- 
tritive qualities is, that the greater part of the arrow- 
root sold in England is extracted from it. The dry, 
mealy sort of potato is the most easy of digestion,, 
and by far the most nourishing; and the simplest 
mode of preparing them for the table is the best: 
mashed potatoes are more difficult of digestion. 
The valetudinarian should, in general, avoid the 
young potato, till after the first of August, on 
account of its indigestible nature when very young. 


The history of the potato conveys to us a most 
instructive lesson, forcibly reminding us of the ex- 
traordinary lengths to which prejudice will carry 
mankind, and showihg us by what apparently tri- 
vial circumstances this prejudice is often removed, 
when the most powerful and influential arguments 
have failed to weaken it. The introduction of this 
valuable root to the gardens and tables of the peo- 
ple, received, for more than two centuries, an un- 
exampled opposition from vulgar prejudice, which 
all the philosophy of the age was unable to dissipate, 
until Louis XV. of France, wore a bunch of the 
flowers of the potato in the midst of his court on 
a day of festivity; the people then, for the first time, 
obsequiously acknowledged its usefulness, and its 
cultivation, as an article of food, soon became uni- 
versal. Now, its stalk, considered as a textile 
plant, produces, in Austria, a cottony flax. In Swe- 
den, sugar is extracted from its roots. By combus- 
tion its different parts yield a very considerable 
quantity of potass. Its apples, when ripe, ferment 
and yield vinegar by exposure, or spirit by distilla- 
tion. Its tubercles made into a pulp, are a substi- 
tute for soap in bleaching. Cooked by steam, the 
potato is one of the most wholesome and nutri- 
tious, and, at the same time, the most economical 
of all vegetable aliments. By different manipula- 
tions it furnishes two kinds of flour, a gruel, and a 
parenchyma, which in times of scarcity may be 
made into bread, or applied to increase the bulk of 
bread made from grain; and its starch is little, if at 
all, inferior to the Indian arrow-root. Such are the 
numerous resources which this invaluable plant is 
calculated to furnish. See Paris' s Pharmacologia \ 
vol. I, page 54.* 

* The sweet potato is a farinaceous, agreeable and highly 
nutritious root, allied to the common potato, but not so diges- 


Turnips are nutritive, easily digested, and very 
wholesome. Sir John Sinclair states,* that they 
in general disagree with those who have weak sto- 
machs, and are subject to flatulency, but this is cer- 
tainly a mistake. All vegetables are more or less 
flatulent, but turnips are among those which are 
least so; and I am persuaded extensive and accurate 
observation will prove, that they almost always 
agree remarkably well with weak stomachs, and 
are, therefore, among the best vegetables which 
those troubled with indigestion and bilious com- 
plaints can resort to. They are slightly laxative, 
which is an additional recommendation in such 

Onions sometimes assist digestion, although they 
cannot, in my opinion, be considered very nourish- 
ing. They are best suited to persons of a cold and 
phlegmatic habit, and those whose stomachs require 
a stimulus. Parsnips, when well boiled, are nu- 
tritive and wholesome. Carrots are digested with 
difficulty, and are not wholesome. 

Of the class of Fruits, the best are apples, pears, 
peaches, apricots, strawberries, rasberries, goose- 
berries,! oranges, red and white currants, and 
grapes; and in point of digestibility and wholesome- 
ness, they, perhaps, rank as now placed, the apple 
being, on the whole, the first, both as it respects 
utility and its wholesome qualities. The baked ap- 
ple is a most wholesome fruit. Strawberries are 

* Code of* Health, page 140. 

| Gooseberries, in their green state, should be avoided bv 
the valetudinarian, as being indigestible and unwholesome, 
excepting in the c*t;e of the consumptive, who may frequent 
ly take them in the form of gooseberry -fool, with considerable 
advantage, when troubled with heat and flushings of the face, 
burning of the hands, and other symptoms of hectic fever, so 
often attending that malady. In such instances, their cooling, 
acid qualities are beneficial. 


a very cooling, laxative, and wholesome fruit, and 
are supposed to possess qualities unfavourable to 
the formation of gravel and stone.* Of course, 
these fruits are conducive to the health and nou- 
rishment of the body only when quite ripe; and of 
apples and pears, the more mellow and tender the 
fruit the better. The pine-apple is most delicious, 
but ought to be eaten sparingly, more especially 
by elderly persons, on whom it sometimes takes a 
very extraordinary effect. Cherries, plums, olives, 
melons, and all kinds of nuts, are mostly difficult 
of digestion, and fit only for the strong and active. 
Black currants have a strong tendency to affect the 
bowels, and are not to be recommended in diet. 
As a medicine, when made into jam or jelly, they 
are highly useful in sore throat. 

Of dried fruits, the most valuable are grapes or 
raisins, plums or prunes, and figs. These are 
very nutritious, but, from the great quantity of 
saccharine matter they contain, are much disposed 
to oppress the stomach, and, consequently, to prove 
indigestible. They cannot, in general, with any 
propriety, be recommended to the weakly or the 

As to the consumption of fruits, the following re- 
marks merit attention. 1. Being abundantly pro- 
duced by nature at that season of the year, when 
such substances, with the acid, refreshing, and di- 
luting qualities they possess, are particularly accept- 
able, they are highly beneficial to most persons in 
summer, and should therefore be taken in proper 
quantity. 2. To young persons, full of blood, they 
are particularly useful on account of their tending 
to allay excessive heat, and moderate the circula- 
rise dewberry and blackberry are astringent but whole- 
some •, the whortleberry is very unwholesome. 


iion. Such individuals ought to make them a prin- 
cipal part of their food in the summer. 3. To such 
also as are liable to slight irregular fevers, or to fre- 
quent feverishness, they are truly valuable, and 
may be considered as both food and medicine. In 
this case, the best time of taking them is at meals, 
and whenever the individuals find themselves pre- 
iernaturally heated. 4. For persons in tolerable 
health, the best time for eating fruit is after dinner, 
and at supper. In summer, a moderate quantity oi 
the most wholesome fruit, with a little bread or 
biscuit, forms one of the most desirable suppers 
that can be indulged in, and particularly for the 

There are a few miscellaneous articles used as 
food, which it is proper to notice, the chief of 
which are arrow-root, tapioca, sago, and salep. 
Vll these are nourishing, and easily digested, when 
taken with bread or biscuit, the addition of which 
renders them not only lighter on the stomach, but 
more nutritive. Milk also is a valuable addition 
to them. Indian arrow-root is justly considered to 
possess the most of a nutritious quality, and I think 
the rest stand in the order here placed. They all 
form very suitable nourishment for the sick and 
convalescent, but when they turn acid on the sto- 
mach, which they often will do when that organ is 
weak, it requires a little management to render 
them agreeable and wholesome. In this case, they 
should be mixed with a good proportion of condi- 
ment, as cinnamon, allspice, &c. with or without a 
little biscuit powder, or grated bread; a little port 
or sherry wine may also be added, if admissible, 
and a little well-made toast, or plain biscuit, be eaten 
at the same time. By these means, the tendency to 
acidity may generally be counteracted. The tapi- 


oca, or sago, mixed with bread and milk, makes a 
very good pudding. 

But there is a point connected with the con- 
sumption of arrow root, and almost all other arti- 
cles which are supposed to contain much nutriment 
in a very small space, that ought to be particularly 
adverted to in this book, and I know not that I can 
select a better place to notice it in, than the pre- 
sent. The point alluded to refers to the concentra- 
tion of aliment on which very erroneous and in- 
jurious notions generally prevail. People in gene- 
ral suppose, that by extracting and insulating what 
they conceive to be the nutritious principle or prin- 
ciples of any given alimentary substance, they are 
able with greater certainty and effect to nourish the 
body of the sick and delicate; thus, we continually 
hear of strong beef-tea, pure arrow-root jelly, and 
the like, prepared with great care for such persons. 
But many of my readers will be much surprised to 
hear, that a dog fed on the strongest beef-tea alone 
rapidly emaciates, and dies within a short period, 
and that precisely the same consequences would en- 
sue on confining the strongest man to the same 
food. It is also a fact, that a dog fed on fine white 
bread (usually considered by far the most nutritive 
kind of bread,) and water, both at discretion, does 
not live beyond the fiftieth day; and that a rabbit 
or Guinea pig, fed on the best wheat alone, dies, 
with all the symptoms of starvation, commonly 
within a fortnight, and sometimes much sooner; 
the same effects follow if they are fed on oats or 
barley, singly. * An ass, fed with rice boiled in 
water, docs not survive above a fortnight. The 
reason of all' this is, that diversity of aliment, and 
a certain bulk, are essential to nutrition; and it 

* Dr. Londe on Aliment, in Archives Generates de Medicine, 
de Paris. 


teaches us, that we ought never to confine any in- 
dividual, especially if sick, to one or two sorts of 
concentrated food, and that wc should not endea- 
vour to combine too much nutriment in too small 
a space. When so given it will even in health be 
followed by fermentation instead of digestion,* as 
is proved by the fact, that pure arrow-root jelly 
taken alone, or with the slightest addition of any 
other substance, almost invariably acidulates on the 
stomach; and it does not nourish. It follows, that 
strong soup, beef-tea, arrow-root, animal jellies, and 
all such articles of diet, should at all times be taken 
with some other alimentary substance, and particu- 
larly with bread. 



The importance of liquid food to the well being 
of the human frame, is proved by the single fact, 
that its fluids far exceed the solids in point of 
weight; and as the fluids as well as the solids of the 
body are incessantly suffering loss, so do they re- 
quire constant reparation. Liquids are necessary 
to assist digestion; to the perfection of the assimi- 
lating processes, and to carry the nutritive particles 
to every part of the system; to the formation of the 
various secretions and excretions; and sometimes to 
refresh and stimulate the languid powers of the cir- 

The liquors commonly used are chiefly water, 
milk, toast and xoater, gruel, tea, coffee, choco- 
late, broths, soups, wine, malt liquors, and ar- 

* Paris'* rharmacologia, Vol. I. page 272. 


dent spirits, each of which we shall consider a 
little at length. 

Common water is a liquid of greater import- 
ance to man than any other, on account of its being 
a natural production, largely consumed, and admi- 
rably adapted for the dilution of our solid food, and 
to aid its perfect digestion and assimilation. I be- 
lieve the most able physicians agree, that it is by 
far the safest and most salutary beverage in which 
man can popsibly indulge; being the best solvent 
and diluent of our solid food, that which best sup- 
ports the tone of the stomach, without exhausting 
its vigour, and which, in reality, furnishes not only 
the most simple, but also the most suitable supply 
to the secreting vessels, and towards maintaining 
the general humidity or elasticity of the body. 
Hence it arises, that those who use pure water only, 
as their general -drink, are, all other things being- 
equal, the most free from disease, and retain the 
vigour of life, and its different functions, to a more 
advanced age. ' 

It is also an agent of considerable importance in 
the relief and cure of disease, particularly in in- 
flammatory fevers, and, when uncommonly pure, 
in diabetes, scrophula, gravel, and cutaneous erup- 

There are several kinds of water, but rain water. 
snow water, and spring water, are the purest and 
best. Rain water when collected in the open fields, 
is certainly the purest natural water, but when col- 
lected in towns, or from the roofs of houses, it con- 
tains many impurities, and requires to be boiled and 

* The celebrated Hoffman says, pure water is the fines' 
drink for persons of all ages and temperaments ; and of all the 
productions of nature or art, comes the nearest to that univer- 
sal remedy, so much .sought after by mankind, but never 
hitherto discovered. 


strained previous to internal use. Snow water is 
remarkably soft and pure, particularly when made 
from snow that falls in calm weather. Spring water, 
in addition to the substances detected in rain water, 
generally contains a small proportion of common 
salt, and frequently other salts. The larger springs 
are purer than smaller ones, and those which occur 
in silicious rocks, or beds of gravel, contain the 
least impregnation. If it has not filtered through a 
very soluble soil, it is often almost as pure as rain 
water. Well or pump water, which is spring water 
obtained by digging to a considerable depth, is by 
no means so pure. It is commonly distinguished 
by a property named hardness, implying an inca- 
pability of dissolving soap; which is owing to its 
containing many earthy salts, the principal of which 
is sulphate of lime. River water, when the stream 
is rapid, and runs over a pebbly or silicious chan- 
nel, is as pure as the softer spring water; but when 
the current is slow, and the bed clayey, it ap- 
proaches nearer to the nature of well water, and 
frequently contains putrified vegetable and animal 
matter, as is generally the case in the water of lakes 
and marshes. 

It is of some consequence to the health of every 
one, and especially to that of the sick and weakly, 
that they should avoid hard water, and confine 
themselves to that which is soft. Some medical 
writers, indeed, have denied that hard water is in- 
jurious to the animal system, but there can be no 
doubt that this opinion is very erroneous; the great 
superiority, in point of wholesomeness, which soft 
water has over that which is hard, being proved by 
many striking facts. Horses, for example, by an 
instinctive sagacity, always prefer the former, and 
when by necessity or inattention, they are confined 
to the latter, their coats become rough, and ill-con- 


ditioned, and they arc frequently attacked with tlu 
gripes. Hard water also has a tendency to pro- 
duce disease in the spleen of certain animals, espe- 
cially sheep; and pigeons refuse it when they have 
been accustomed to that which is soft. Some ver> 
eminent and discerning physicians have ascribed 
the scrofulous swellings, and complaints of gravel, 
so common in certain districts, to the hardness of 
the water there, and there is often much to coun- 
tenance the opinion. The late Dr. Baillie has re- 
marked, that he had witnessed more advantage to 
arise in scrofula from the air and waters of Malvern, 
than from almost any other means. The best mode 
of freeing hard water of its earthy salts, is first to 
boil it; then, after it has cooled, to drop into it an 
alkaline carbonate, as a little carbonate of soda, &c; 
and lastly to filter it. Filtering machines are very 
useful in all large towns. Putting a slice of toast- 
ed bread into water softens it very much, and if 
fr.herc were no other advantage arising from drink- 
ing toast and water, its greater softness would be a 
strong recommendation in its favour. 

Signs of Good Water. 1. It may be inferred, 
from the vigour and florid looks of the inhabitants, 
and from the healthiness of the animals living in 
the neighbourhood, that the waters they use arc- 
good in quality. 2. Also when a few drops of the 
ivater are let fall on good copper, and they occa- 
sion no spot thereon. 3. Good water is found fit 
for boiling vegetables quickly, in particular peas, 
beans, and other pulse. 4. Good waters are light; 
and perhaps tightness of water is the most positive 
token of its goodness, and its exemption from other 
ingredients. 5. Those waters which dissolve soap 
in the completest manner, are generally excellent. 
6. Springs issuing from sandy soils, sand-stone, 
gravel, and red-stone, are usually wholesome. 7. 


Good water easily acquires the taste, colour, and 
flavour that is wished to be given to it. 8. Springs 
which freeze with difficulty, and suffer little varia- 
tion in their temperature at different seasons of the 
year, are deemed good. 9. Water of good quality 
^oon grows warm by the heat of the fire, and soon 
cools when exposed to the air. 10. It is reckoned 
a good sign in river water, to bear water-cresses and 
water-marigolds, and when fresh verdure is ob- 
served along the banks where it runs. 

Milk holds a very conspicuous place among the 
various articles of liquid food. It is one of the 
most valuable presents that nature has bestowed 
upon the human race, being equally wholesome, 
nourishing, and digestible, and well calculated as 
an article of diet both for children and adults. It 
is worthy of particular attention from the consump- 
tive, the gouty, and in many cases of derangement 
•>f the general health. 

It ought to make a chief pail of the food of the 
consumptive, as it has, undoubtedly, the power of 
invigorating the body, without increasing the fe- 
lirile irritation present. The best sort for such pa- 
'ients is asses' milk, but whatever kind be taken, 
it should invariably be fresh and warm from the ani- 
mal, because the excellence of milk seems, in a 
o-reat measure, to depend on the intimate mixture, 
of the three substances of which it principally con- 
sists, which is complete when fresh and warm; but 
' he air speedily acts upon them so as to cause a se- 
rration. Butter-milk ought to form the principal 
article for quenching the thirst, and allaying the oc- 
casional heat and feverishncss, so common in con- 
sumptive invalids. For these purposes, it is highly 
valuahle, being very cooling, refreshing, and, at 
the same time, nutritious, when properly made. It 


ought to be quite new, and obtained from milk, the 
whole of which has been employed in making but- 
ter, and not the cream only. 

It is equally certain, that a milk diet, or one 
nearly approaching to it, is of great service in most 
gouty cases, occurring in sound constitutions, and 
uncomplicated with any other disease. It will not 
answer quite so well, in severe chronic gpul, that 
is, where the disease, from its frequent attacks, has 
greatly enfeebled the digestive organs, and whole 
constitution; yet even here, some physicians think, 
and I believe reasonably, that with proper manage- 
ment it is capable, in conjunction with exercise, of 
accomplishing the most salutary changes. Dr. Cul- 
len thought a vegetable diet, with exercise, equal 
to the perfect cure of the majority of gouty cases; 
and Dr. Stark states that a Mr. Slingsby lived 
many years solely on bread, milk, and vegetables, 
and was free from gout ever since he began that 
regimen; he had also excellent spirits, and was 
very vigorous. And a Dr. Knight followed the 
same plan with equal success. 

The lighter sorts of milk, particularly asses' and 
mares' milk, are excellent in all disorders where 
the patient is troubled with an insatiable thirst. 
Butter-milk also will be found very useful in such 

Milk does not generally agree with the perfect 
hypochondriac, nor the plethoric and corpulent, 
and disagrees particularly with tipplers, or those 
addicted to strong liquors. 

Of course, the quality of milk varies greatly ac- 
cording to the season of the year, the pasture upon 
which the animal is fed, and the degree of exercise 
and free air allowed to it : the more favourable 
these circumstances are, the better will be the milk. 


Good cows' milk ought to be white, without smell, 
and so fat, that a drop being allowed to fall on the 
nail, will not run down in divisions. 

It should be observed, that skimmed milk is 
much inferior to the article in its original state, 
[f new milk be too heavy for a weak stomach, i1 
is much more wholesome to dilute it with luke- 
warm water, than to skim it.* It may also, in 
the case of weakness of stomach, be most advanta- 
geously diluted with soda water or lime water. 

Toast and water is a nutritious and valuable 
diluent. The toasted bread renders the water ex- 
ceedingly soft, and agreeable, and tends very much 
to correct any other bad quality that may exist in 
it. It is therefore a valuable resource in many 
cases. It will soften the hardest water. Soda wa- 
ter, (from the soda powders, which should always 
be preferred to the bottled soda water, ) made with 
toast and water, is vastly superior to that made 
with plain water, being both more agreeable, and 
more beneficial, i 

* When woman's milk cannot be got for infants, and cows' 
milk becomes acescent on the stomach, the following compo- 
sition may be tried with advantage. Boil two ounces of harts- 
horn shavings in a quart of water, over a gentle fire, till the 
whole is reduced to a pint ;f then mix it with twice its quantity 
of cows' milk, (warm from the cow, if possible,) and a little su 
gar, and a nourishing, easily-digested aliment will be formed. 

% The following is a good receipt for making toast and wa- 
ter. Take a slice of fine and stale loaf bread, cut very thin, 
(as thin as toast is ever cut ;) and let it be carefully toasted on 
both sides, until it be completely browned all over, but nowise 
blackened, or burned in any way. Put this into a common 
deep stone or china jug, and pour over it from the tea kettle, 
.■is much clean boiling water as you wish to make into drink. 
Much depends on the water being actually in a boiling state 
Cover the jug with a saucer or plate, and let the drink cool 
until it be quite cold; it is then fit to be used ; the fresher made 

f A solution of gum Arabic in water, is an excellent substitute for this pre- 


Gruel is well known to be an infusion of oat- 
meal, and is a wholesome and nutritious article, 
well calculated for the supper of all persons, and 
particularly for the delicate, when it does not be- 
come acescent on the stomach. It may be taken 
with or without milk, and with salt or sugar. Nut- 
meg, or some other spice, should in general be 
grated into it. When it acidulates on the stomach, 
it may often be taken without producing any such 
unpleasant effect, if made partly with good beer, in- 
stead of wholly with water. Franklin mentions the 
case of an old Roman Catholic lady, who had dis- 
posed of all her property for charitable uses, reserv- 
ing only twelve pounds a year to herself, (and of 
this small pittance she gave a part to the poor,) who 
lived entirely on water-gruel. She never expe- 
rienced sickness. This is a sufficient proof how 
wholesome gruel is, and how little is necessary 
to maintain life and health. 

Tea was first used in Britain about the year 1 66G, 
and became a fashionable beverage at court, owing 
to the example of Katherine, the queen of Charles II. 
who had been accustomed to it in Portugal. Its pre- 
sent annual consumption in this kingdom is enor- 
mous; yet physicians are still divided in opinion 
respecting its real qualities, some considering it to 
be, upon the whole, a wholesome and beneficial 
diluent, while others look upon it as pernicious, 
and attribute to its frequent employment chiefly, 
the visible increase of nervous disorders and other 
complaints of debility. A considerable majority of 
professional men, however, rank among the former, 
and I think there is much reason to consider good 

the better, and of course the more agreeable. This is the 
best way of making toast and water; but if, in the absence of 
boiling water, it be made with that which is cold, the drink 
will be much better than common water. 


black tea, when drank in moderate quantity, as 
wholesome and useful. It forms a refreshing antis- 
pasmodic beverage, very suitable for the morning 
and evening, but should not be taken either strong 
or hot, and the addition of milk and a little sugar 
renders it more wholesome. Individuals of a rigid 
and solid fibre require more of it, and are more 
benefited by it, than those of an opposite habit; but 
none should take more than three small tea-cupfuls 
morning and evening. It is a beverage much bet- 
ter suited to the evening than the morning, and less 
of it should therefore be taken at the latter than 
the former period. Generally speaking, I am fully 
persuaded it is superior for common use to choco- 
late, or coffee, though it is more than probable, that 
some of our indigenous plants would yield as whole- 
some and palatable an infusion as the tea-leaf of 
China. With some persons, however, no China 
tea agrees, and then an infusion of agrimony, or 
some other native plant, should be substituted for 
it. I may state, on very respectable authority,, 
that the first leaves of whortleberry, properly ga- 
thered, and dried in the shade, cannot be distin- 
guished from real teas. * It is certain that all green 
tea is exceedingly pernicious, having a strong ten- 
dency to injure the stomach and bowels, and the 
whole nervous system.! Medicinally, tea is some- 

* Sage (the tome7ilosa, or balsamic sage,) and balm, (jmelissc 
hortensis, or garden balm,) are likewise valuable substitutes for 
tea, more particularly in the case of debility in the s-tomach 
und nervouc system. John Hussey, of Sydenham, in Kent, 
who lived to one hundred and sixteen, took nothing for his 
oreakfast for fifty years, but balm tea, sweetened with honey. 

| If two or three cupfuls of green tea of a moderate strength, 
such, for instance, as would be used for company, are given to 
any individual, who has never, or very rarely, lasted green 
tea, it will invariably make him exceedingly nervous and un- 
comfortable for a considerable time, and with many such per- 
sons it will have rather an alarming effect. This is a convincing 


times of service in relieving the sensations of op- 
pression and weight at the pit of the stomach, so 
frequently accompanying indigestion and bilious 
complaints; but it is worthy of particular notice 
from the dyspeptic, that few things will injure him 
more than an immoderate indulgence in this or any 
other warm slop. 

The following rules, respecting the use of tea, 
will be found useful. 1. Carefully avoid the high- 
priced and high-flavoured teas, more especially if 
qreen, which generally owe their flavour to per- 
nicious ingredients, and abound most with those 
active principles, whence the noxious effects of the 
articles arise. 2. Take with it at all times a good 
proportion of milk, snd some sugar, as corrections 
to any possible noxious qualities present. 3. 
Lei the quantity of tea used at each infusion be 
rcry moderate. 4. Make the infusion properly, 
with water soft and otherwise of a good quality, 
and in a boiling state. 5. Take less tea in the 
morning, than in the evening. The first meal we 
lake in the morning, to recruit the body, after the 
loss it has sustained during a long fast through the 
•light, and to prepare it for the labours of the suc- 
ceeding hours of the day, should be in some measure 
substantial, consisting of a large proportion of solid 
aliment. Indeed, except when drank soon after a 
hearty dinner, solid nourishment should always be 
taken with tea. 

Coffee is sufficiently wholesome for occasional 
use, but does not sit so easy on the stomach as tea. 
It is also more heating, and when taken immode- 
rately, and very strong, impedes nutrition, weakens 
the nervous system, and produces all the bad effects 

proof of its deleterious nature, and shows what an injurious 
influence it must have on the constitutions of those who drinV 
■t frequently. 


of strong tea. The weakly and delicate generally 
find if difficult of digestion, and apt to become aces- 
cent, more particularly if troubled with much 
weakness of the stomach; and it is, therefore, by 
no means an eligible beverage for the dyspeptic or 
bilious. On account of its more heating and indi- 
gestible nature, it is clearly not so well adapted to 
answer the purposes of a diluent after dinner, as tea, 
and the practice of serving up coffee soon after the 
the latter meal, should, therefore, be exchanged for 
tea. The dinner itself, especially if freely partaken 
of, creates sufficient heat and tendency to indiges- 
tion, generally too much of both, without our hav- 
ing recourse to a liquid which is calculated to aug- 
ment these bad effects. Indeed, this liquor is, at 
all times, better suited for the morning than the 
evening, and for the winter than the summer. * 
Mocha coffee is the best; it should be made only of 
a moderate strength. 
Well burnt rye affords a very good substitute for 

* Since writing the above, I find that Dr. Paris {Treatise on. 
Diet, page 173,) entertains a contrary sentiment, and states, that 
" if coffee be taken immediately after a meal, it is not found to 
create that disturbance in its digestion which has been noticed 
as the occasional consequence of tea ; on the contrary, it acce^ 
Jerates the operations of the stomach." I believe the reverse of 
this to be the real truth; and the reasons for my opinion arc 
given above. It is possible we may now and then meet with an 
individual who finds coffee agree with him better than tea, but, 
in a great majority of case9, the former liquid will be found to 
create much more disturbance when taken after dinner, or any 
other solid meal, than the latter, and will also more certainly 
impede the operations of the stomach. I have known this to 
occur repeatedly, and appeal to the experience of the invalid to 
verify my assertion. It is often very difficult for a strong and 
healthy person, to afford correct information as to the relative 
digestibility and wholesomeness of different, alimentary matters, 
but those who have weak stomachs will soon decide the point ,- 
and I am assusred, that nineteen dyspeptics out of twenty will 
declare in favour of tea. 



coffee. It appears to be quite as wholesome, and 
is almost as palatable. 

Chocolate is far more nourishing, less heating, 
and perhaps more wholesome than coffee, when 
properly made. It is commonly made much too 
thick, and with too much milk, which renders it 
oppressive and cloying to the stomach. It is much 
better when made with water, and rather thin, the 
milk being added to it when poured out, in the 
same way that we add it to tea. * In this form it 
is a light, nutritive and wholesome beverage, well 
adapted to the nervous, the delicate, and those of a 
costive habit of body. It is improper for the cor- 
pulent, and those disposed to inflammatory diseases, 
and apoplexy; and must be sparingly used by such 
as are employed in mental pursuits. 

Cocoa is in fact only a weak chocolate. It is a 
light, nutritious, and wholesome drink. It sits 
much easier on the stomach than chocolate, and the 
sedentary and studious may, therefore, often take 
it with advantage instead of tea. 

Broths and Soups, properly made, with a due pro- 
portion of vegetable and animal food, without fat, 
are undoubtedly wholesome and nutritive, and may 
be said to serve both for meat and drink; but they 
must invariably be taken with bread. Many sup- 
pose that they are calculated only for those whose 
powers of digestion are weak, but this is a mistake, 
the reverse being generally the truth; because we 
find, almost universally, that where the digestive 
powers are weak and deranged, solid aliment agrees 
the best, particularly solid animal food, since it gives 

* The best way of preparing chocolate for the valetudinarian, 
is to boil it in water and allow it to grow cold, then take off" the 
cake of fat that forms on the surface, reboil the chocolate and 
pour it on a little cream and sugar. Made in this way it i3 much 
lighter and more generally agrees with weak stomachs than 
when prepared in any other. 


the stomach less to do, and rest to a weak organ is 
of great consequence; whereas liquid food is apt, in 
these cases, to dilute the gastric juice too much; 
besides which, it certainly requires a greater 
strength of digestive power for its perfect assimi- 
lation. Hence we see, that the present liquids are 
better fitted, as articles of diet, for such as have 
a good measure of strength, than for the weakly 
and delicate. The Scotch barley broth I consider a 
very wholesome diet.* 

Beef-tea is nutritious when taken with a sufficient 
quantity of bread, but not else. See page 34. 

Wine. This is an interesting and inportant 
subject, on account of the very general use of this 
liquid in Europe, and of the exhilarating and ad- 
mirable effects it is capable of producing when used 
in due quantity, and of proper quality, as well as 
of the very pernicious consequences arising from 
its abuse. 

Wine is certainly a most valuable cordial. The 
temperate use of it is conducive to health; the 
powers both of the body and mind are, to a cer- 
tain degree, roused by it; the circulation is ac- 
celerated and invigorated, the nervous system 
strengthened, and the action and powers of the 
stomach increased. But these good effects are all 
bounded by a very limited use of it, and chiefly by 
those kinds of wine, in which water enters far more 
largely into their composition than the spirituous 
part.. Such excellent effects from the use of wine, 
are likewise, for the most part, altogether confined 

* The following is an excellent mode of making this broth. — 
Take a te a-cupful of pot, or pearl barley, and one gallon of 
water. Boil gently for half an hour, then add three pounds ot 
lean beef, or neck of mutton, some carrots and turnips cut 
small, a pint of green peas, if in season, and some onions. Let 
the whole boil gently for two hours longer in a close soup-kettle, 
when the broth will be fitfor use- 


to the middle-aged, and those advancing in life. 
Hence wine has been emphatically called the milk 
of old age, while there are very few physicians of 
discernment, who have paid much attention to the 
subject, but consider it pernicious to youth, and 
truly destructive to children.* I mean, of course, 
when used as an article of diet by such persons; if 
employed medicinally, it is occasionally of great 
service to them, as well as to the aged. I will 
venture to assert, that wine can hardly ever be 
given to a child in tolerable health, under fifteen 
years of age, without immediately deranging the 
functions of the stomach, and suppressing the secre- 
tion of healthy bile; and very often it will have 
the same effects in young persons much above the 
age now mentioned. t Parents who are anxious 
for the health of their children should never give 
them wine, unless under the sanction of an able 
medical practitioner. If they are weakly and lan- 
guid, their tonics should in general be, plenty of 
pure air, and active exercise, with early rising, and 
a generous animal food diet, but moderate in quan- 
tity, combined with a due attention to regulate the 

* As wine lias been called the milk of old age, so is milk 
properly styled the wine of youth. " No man in health, (says 
Dr. Trotter,) can need wine till he arrives at forty ; he may 
then begin with two glasses in the day : at fifty he may add 
two more." 

f Dr. Beddoes- states, that an ingenious surgeon tried the 
following experiment. He gave to two of his children,, for a 
week alternately, after dinner, to the one a full glass of sherry, 
and to the other a large china orange : the effects that follow 
ed were a striking proof of the pernicious effects of vinous 
liquors, on the constitution of children in full health. In the 
one, the pulse was quickened, the heat increased, the urine 
became high coloured, and the stools destitute of the usuul quan- 
tity of bile, whilst the other had every appearance that indicated 
high health ; the same effects followed, when the experiment 
was reversed. 


In the consumption of wine, it is worthy of par- 
ticular remark, that it does not furnish an increase 
of the powers of life, or ability to produce labour 
permanently; it only stimulates and excites the ac- 
tion of the powers of the body, without supplying 
the expenditure of the principle producing those 
powers. * Hence the reason appears evident, why 
even a slight excess in the use of wine is succeeded 
by temporary languor and debility, and if the im- 
moderate indulgence be long continued, by perma- 
nent weakness, feverishness, and disease in some 
parts of the body. For if, so to speak, the vital move- 
ments are unduly accelerated, there is necessarily 
a consumption of life, proportionate to the strength 
and duration of the stimulus producing this accele- 
ration. And this explains one of the principal rea- 
sons why wine is so commonly pernicious to the 
young, while in the aged it may, on the contrary, 
be used with advantage; because the vital move- 
ments in the former, are, in general, already suffi- 
ciently active, and are often prone, even under the 
operation of slight causes, to run into excess, and 
terminate in fever, while those advancing in age, 
on the other hand, frequently need such a gentle 
stimulus, to diffuse a proper heat over the body, 
and to invigorate the digestive organs, that the va- 
rious animal functions may be performed with 
greater facility and effect. 

When wine disagrees, its first effects are gene- 
rally displayed on the stomach, the breath acquires 
its smell, the individual is much troubled with aci- 
dity and heart-burn, and sometimes with nausea; 

* This is more especially true of the very strong wines, which 
contain a large proportion of spirit. The best wines for sup- 
plying a nutritive principle, are the finest and most perfect 
sort of sweet wines. 



the temper, also, is apt to be more peevish and 
irascible than usual, and many of the worst symp- 
toms of indigestion soon follow. 

Wine may be divided into four classes; viz. the 
sweet, the sparkling or effervescing, the light and 
dry, and the dry and strong. 

The principal sweet wines are Malaga, Fron- 
tignac, Tokay, Vino Tinto, Schiras, Constantia, 
Canary, and the Malmsey wines of the Greek Isl- 
ands. These, when properly fermented, and not 
adulterated by the addition of sugar or honey, are 
very nourishing, if taken in small quantities. They 
are well suited to recruit the strength of invalids, 
when they do not become acescent on the stomach, 
or otherwise sensibly disagree. Canary was the 
favourite wine of the illustrious physician Syden- 
ham, who was in the habit of taking a little more 
than a quarter of a pint of it every day, after din- 
ner, to promote digestion, and, as he said, drive the 
gout from his bowels. In the present day, we 
consider Sherry undoubtedly the best sort of wine 
for most gouty men. 

Champagne and Gooseberry are the chief spark- 
ling wines. They owe their briskness to carbonic 
acid gas, and intoxicate more speedily than other 
wines, but the effects of their intoxication are com- 
paratively transitory and innocent. 

The • dry and light wines are a valuable sort, 
more particularly in hot weather. They are the 
least heating, the most diuretic, and are gently laxa- 
tive. They have, however, an objection attached 
to them, which is, that all thin or weak wines, 
though of an agreeable flavour, yet from their con- 
taining little spirit, are readily disposed to become 
acid on many stomachs, and thereby to occasion 
or increase gravelly complaints, excepting, indeed. 


cases of white gravel, in which they are in gene- 
ral more useful than any other sort of wine. Never- 
theless, even with some delicate persons, the best 
Rhenish wines agree uncommonly well, and are 
less liable to ferment than many of the stronger 
wines. The most esteemed wines of the present 
class are Hock, Rhenish, Moselle, Claret, Mayne, 
Barsac, and Hermitage. To those who have a dis- 
position to corpulence, the first four, on account of 
their diuretic and less heating properties, are pre- 
ferable to every other kind of wine, for daily use. 
The gentle astringency of genuine claret, in con- 
junction with its being well fermented, and con- 
taining a small proportion of spirit, renders it, in 
the opinion of many physicians, on the whole, the 
most wholesome of all vinous liquors. It is, with- 
out doubt, a very wholesome wine. * 

The chief of the dry and strong wines are Sher- 
ry, Madeira, Marsala and Port. In point of salu- 
brity they rank nearly as here placed, but much de- 
pends on circumstances. Of these wines, old Sher- 
ry is that which generally sits best on the stomach, 
and altogether agrees best with most persons, espe- 
cially when the digestive organs are not in high 
order, or the individual is suffering from continued 
indigestion. Port of a moderate age, and unadul- 
terated, is a generous stomachic wine, well suited 
to the generality of British constitutions, in tole- 
rable health. It is best adapted for cold and moist 
weather, and to those of relaxed bowels. Its ten- 
dency to occasion costiveness, renders it objection- 
able to such persons as are habitually liable to that 
state of body, and makes a frequent change to 
white wine advisable, even to those who are not, 
provided they are not subject to an opposite ex- 

* The best Claret is made from grapes grown at Chateau 


treme. Good Cape Madeira is a very agreeable 
and wholesome wine.* 

When wine is prescribed as a cordial in a state 
of recovery from any acute disease, or in a weak- 
ened state of the habit, it should not be taken with 
dinner or any other meal, but at noon, on an empty 
stomach. In such a case, it is an excellent prac- 
tice to get a crust of good bread, dip it, piece by 
piece, into a glass of old rich wine, as Canary, 
Tent, Madeira, Sherry, or Port, and take it every- 
day about twelve; it is a valuable cordial. Some- 
times in convalescence from a severe disease, the 
nerves are so irritable as to produce a feverishness 
in the system, on the application of stimulants, 
when the quantity of wine used must be small, and 
(genuine) Claret, Moselle, or Hock, will be found 
the best sorts. 

New wines are well known to be unwholesome 
to most persons; nevertheless, it is possible to keep 
wine too long, and this is frequently done in our 
country. Nature and experience join in teaching 
us, that wine, like every thing else, attains to a 
certain summit of perfection, beyond which its 
state is decline; and it may be depended on, that 
when the colour begins to fade, the true body and 
best qualities are fading also. Wine-merchants of 
the most accurate observation, and extensive ex- 
perience, I believe, generally agree, that sound 
good port, is rather impoverished than improved, 
by being kept in bottle longer than two years, that 
is, supposing it to have been previously from two 
to four years in the cask in this country. The 
writer of the article wine, in the Edinburgh En- 
cyclopedia Britannica, ( Vol. xviii. p. 72.) says, 

*It is only justice to Messrs. Collinson and Starkey, Wine 
Merchants, ot Philpot-lanc, Fenchurch-street, to say that their 
Cape wines are excellent. 


" Wines bottled in good order, may be fit to drink 
in six months, (especially if bottled in October,) 
but they are not in perfection before twelve. From 
that to two years they may continue so; but it 
would be improper to keep them longer.* 

The quantity of wine calculated to preserve 
health and prolong life, must ever depend a great 
deal on circumstances, and more particularly as it 
respects the age, state of health, and degree of ex- 
ercise taken. As a tonic and stomachic, three or 
four moderate sized glasses after dinner, is sufficient 
for the generality of persons in tolerable health;! 
those who are weakly, and under forty, will per- 
haps, find half that quantity better. As a zest to 
social intercourse, from half a bottle to a bottle 
of generous wine may be occasionally permitted, to 
persons in perfect health, but it is not advisable, 
to go frequently to that utmost limit of rational 
indulgence. Dr. Cadogan, in gouty cases, when 
his patient has recovered health and strength, and 
can take exercise, admits of a pint of wine only 
once or twice a week, for the sake of good humour., 
and good company merely, and not as good for 
health. This is certainly ( ' the utmost limits of ra- 
tional indulgence," in the case of the gouty man 
who is sincerely desirous of keeping off his foe. 

It has been pretty accurately calculated by emi- 
nent chemists, that the generality of the foreign 

* " A tJuck crust is not always the consequence of the wine 
having been very long in the bottle ; but is often a sign that if 
was too little time in the casks, or has been kept in a very cold 
cellar.'' Dr. Kitchiner. " Respecting Port Wine, (says Young 
in his Epicure, page 23,) there is a great fuss made by some 
about its age, and the crust on the bottle ; as if the age and 
crust constituted the quality of the wine. Such crusty gentle- 
men shall not select wine for me." 

■j- « Half a pint of wine, that is, four ordinary wine glasses,. 
is as much as most people, (who have not spoiled their stc 
machs by intemperance,) require." Dr. Kitchiner. 


wines used in this country, contain from 10 or 12 
to 25 parts of combined spirit, in every 100; and 
this affords us a very good criterion in respect to 
the quantity of wine individuals in general ought 
to drink daily. For if port wine, for example, 
contains, on an average, 23 parts, of spirit, by mea- 
sure, in every 100 parts, it follows, that a person 
who drinks a bottle of port daily, will consume 
considerably more than a quarter of a wine pint 
of spirit every day, and in the course of a week, 
he must swallow at least a quart of spirit. The 
following table shows the quantity of spirit con- 
tained in the principal wines (genuine) drank in 
this country, with their chief varieties, and quali- 
ties; and will teach the uninformed, what ought to 
be the strength, body, flavour, and colour of genuine 
wine, of each class. 



Table of the principal known Wines, and of the 
quantity of Spirit in each. 





Generic Names. 

Red. Port 

White. Bucellas 


White. Sherry 


of Sitges 
Red. Tent 

I.a Torre 

White. Alba Flor 
White. Champagne 

Red. Champagne 

Chief Varieties. 

----- (avarage) 
Vinho de Rama 
Collares - - - - 

Amontillado • 
Pax3reti - - • 

Quantity of 

Spirit, by 
Measure, in 
100 parts. 



Ay, Hautvilliers, 
Epernay, Dizy, 
Avenay. Avise, 
Oger, Pierry, 

Closet, Clamant 


Verzy - - - - - - • 

Maill'y, Bouzy» 
St. Basle, 
Chamery, Eeueil, 




} 19.17 { 

- { 


" I 

- I 



Deep purple; rough; 
bitter sweet ; 

Pale straw; flavour 

Amber colour ; sweet 
Deep amber colour ; 

nutty and aromatic 
Amber colour; 

sweet and aromatic 

Amber colour ; fla- 
vour delicate, rich, 

Colour deeper; sweet, 

Resembles Malaga. 

Purple ; sweet ; fla- 
vour strong, 


Resembles Sau- 

Still, of an amber co- 

Brisk or sparkling; 
delicate flavour 
and aroma ; slight- 
ly acidulous ; but 
some are still, or, 
at most, simply 
creaming ; gene- 
rally paler than 

Good colour and 
body, and a high 
agreeable flavour. 






Generic Names- 

Red. Champagne. 

White. Aibois 

Red. Burgundy 

Chief Varieties. 

Clos St. Thierry 


White. Burgundy 

Red. Hermitage 

White. Hermitage 

Cote Rotie 


St. Geniez 

White. Frontignac 

Romance Conti, 
Roman fee de 
St. Vivant 
Volnay, Poniard, 
Corton, Vosne, 
Nuits, Beaunc, 
Torins, Chenas, 

Mont Rachet 
La Perriere, 
La Combotte, 
La Goutte 
d'or, la 
les Charmfees, 
les Grisees, 

Meal, Greffieux, 




Crozes, Gervant, 


VindePaille --- 


Quantity of 
Spirit, by 

Measure, in 
100 parts. 


" { 



Colour and aroma 
of Burgundy, 
with lightness of 

Inferior to Cham- 
pagne, but re- 
sembling it in 
some of their 

Beautiful rich pur- 
ple colour ; ex- 
quisite flavour, 
with a full body, 
yet delicate and 

Excellent wines, 
but inferior to the 

Strong, generous 

High perfume, and 
nutty flavour. 

Rich, high flavoured 

Dark purple colour; 
flavour exquisite; 
and perfume re- 
sembling that of 

Less delicate in fla- 

Amber colour, 
sweet, luscious. 

Resembling Hermi- 
tage in flavour, but 
are weaker. 

Bright rose colour; 

flavour and aroma 


Full rich colour ; 

flavour of Ratafia 
Luscious, flavour of 

the grape. 



r r - 



Generic Names. 


Red. Roussillon 

White. Rpussillon 

Red. Claret. 


White. Claret 

White. Rhenish 

White. Rhenisji 

Red. Rhenish 

Chief Varieties. 

Clos Mazet 

Cazoul, Bassan 

— (average) 

Bagnols sur Mtr, 



Rivessaltes - • 

Salces (Maccabac) 

Quantity of 

Spirit, by 
Measure, in 
100 parts. 


Chateau Margeaux 
Lafitte, Latour, 


(Graves) Haut 

Haut Talanee 

Merignac *• 


Gorce, Larose, 
Longueville - - 
Langon, Cerons, 
Buzet - - — 



Rudesheimer — 



(Hock) Hockhei- 
mer (average) 


Laubenheim, Ni- 
erstein -.-.-- 




} " 



Bright yellow co- 
lour ; less lus- 
cious than Fron- 

Resembles Sherry. 

Great body and co- 
lour, become taw- 
ny when old. 

Bright golden co- 
lour ; fragrant aro- 
ma; flavour of the 

Similar, but inferior 
to Rivessaltes. 

Red ; somewhat 
rough; sweet. 

Deep purple; deli- 
cate flavour ; vio- 
let perfume 

Resemble the bet- 
ter sorts of Bur- 
gundy, but are 

Light wines ; of good 

Secondary quality. 

Amber colour; full 
aroma somewhat 
like cloves. 

Amber colour ; 

High flavour and 

Strongest of the 
Rhine wines ; 

Like the Stein- 
be rg. 

Soft and delicate fla- 

Light ; acidulous. 

Considerable body. 

Light; delicate per- 
fume and taste. 

Same as last. 













Cap" of 

Generic Names. 




Lacryma Christ! 


(Or Bronti Madie- 



Red Muscadine. 



Steen wine 
Cape Muschat 

Chief Varieties. 

. Pisport, Zeltin 
gen, Wehlen 

Tokay Essence 
Ausbruch - — 


Montefiastfone -• 

Monte Somma 

Isthia, Nola, Ot- 
tajano, Novella, 
Torre de Greco! 



21 years old •--. 


- (West Indies) 
Sercial (average) 


Red Constantia - - 
White Constantia 

Quantity of 
Spirit, by 
Measure, in 
100 parts. 








Light, pleasant 
flavour, high 

Brownish yellow 
when new, 
greenish when 

Syrupy, thick, mud- 

Thinner and more 

Inferior to the two 

Sweet, with high fla- 

Brilliant purple ; 
luscious, aromatic 

Golden colour; 

Pale straw-colour; 

Red, luscious, 

The best Lacryma. 


Resembles Ma- 
Both red and white. 

Resembles Claret. 

A fine flavoured 
white wine. 

Resembles Tokay. 

Fuli, pungent, nutty 
or bitter-sweet, 
rich, aromatic fla- 

Luscious, sweet. 

Resembles Ma- 

Sweet, luscious, 

Resembles Rhenikh. 




17 = 


Generic Names. 

Chief Varieties. 

Quantity of 
Spirit, by 
Measure, in 
100 parts. 


Cape of 


Cape Madeira. 

Grape wine 
Raisin wine 
Gooseberry wine 

of best sort) 
Inferior sorts 

20.51 < 

- { 



11,84 { 

Amber colour (not 
deep ;) pleasant, 
aromatic flavour. 

Have an earthy, 
harsh taste, and a 
deep colour. 

Resembles Rhenish. 

Brisk, like Cham- 



Wine ought not to be drank at dinner. In gene- 
ral, the best and most wholesome drink during 
dinner, is well-hopped, home-brewed small-beer, 
which should be quite fresh. This we take as a 
diluent, the wine comes afterwards as a stoma- 

It was formerly observed by Hippocrates, thai 
wine, diluted with water, is more friendly to the 
head, breast, and urinary passages; but wine alone, 
or mixed with very little water, agrees best with 
the stomach and bowels. There is much truth in 
this observation, and the valetudinarian will do 
well to keep it in mind. 

The adulteration of wine is unhappily too com- 
mon a practice, and on this point I would offer the 
the following remarks. Every white or straw- 
coloured wine of a sweetish taste, afterwards as- 
tringent, and at the same time new; every wine 
that has an unusually high colour, not in proportion 
to its strength or age, or the flavour of brandy, 
penetrating the tongue, or, lastly, an uncommonly 
strong flavour, may be justly suspected of adulte- 
ration. Red wines, either of a very deep or a very 
faint colour; of a w r oodyor tart taste ; and those which 
cover the inside of the glass, as well as the bottom 
of the bottles, with a red sediment, are generally 
tinged with some colouring substances. 

In order to discover whether suspected wine 
contains any metallic adulteration, we are possess- 
ed of an excellent chemical test, discovered by Pro- 
fessor Hahnemann, of Germany, and known by the 
name of Liquor Vini Probutorhis. It is pre- 
pared thus: — One drachm of the dry liver of sul- 
phur, and two drachms of cream of tartar, are 
shaken together in two ounces of distilled water, 
till it be completely saturated with hepatic gas. 
The liquor is then filtered through blotting paper,, 


and kept in a close-stopped phial. From fifteen to 
twenty drops of this liquid are dropped into a small 
glass, filled with wine that is suspected to have been 
adulterated. If the wine turn only thick with 
white clouds, and deposit only a white sediment, 
we may be certain that it contains no metallic in- 
gredient whatever; but if it turn black, or even 
muddy, if its colour approach to that of a dark red, 
if it have first a sweet and then an astringent taste, 
it is certainly impregnated with sugar of lead, or 
some other impregnation of that metal, equally 
destructive. If, however, the dark colour be of a 
blue cast, not unlike that of pale ink, we may sus- 
pect the wine to contain iron in its composition. 
Lastly, if the wine be impregnated with copper or 
verdigris, it will deposit a sediment of a blackish 
grey colour. This experiment ought to be made 
with a fresh prepared test, and in the open air. 

The art of preserving wines, is to prevent them 
from fretting; which is done by keeping them in 
the same degree of heat, and careful corking,* and 
in a -cellar where they will not be agitated by the 
motion of carriages passing. " If persons wish 
to preserve the fine flavour of their wines, they 
ought on no account to permit any bacon, cheese, 
onions, or cider in their wine-cellars. Or, if there 
be any disagreeable stench in the cellar, the wine 
will indubitably imbibe it; consequently, instead of 
being fragrant and charming to the nose and palate, 
it will be extremely disagreeable, "t 

* « Cork the bottles very closely with good cork, and lay 
them on their sides, that the cork may not dry, and facilitate 
the access of the air. For the greater safety, the cork may be 
covered with a coating of cement applied by means of a brash, 
or the neck of the bottle may be immersed in a mixture of 
melted wax." Accnm on Making Wine. 

f Carnel on Wine Making, page 124. 


The preceding observations refer solely to the 
use of foreign wine. Home-made wines are less 
wholesome, on several accounts; but if they arc 
well prepared and fermented, and with a due pro- 
portion of raisins instead of sugar, they are, in ge- 
neral, sufficiently wholesome for persons in health, 
if kept to a proper age. 

Cider and Perry are considered wholesome 
liquors, when they are properly fermented, and 
drank in small quantities. * They are well calculated 
for persons troubled with white gravel.* 

Malt Liquors. I am much disposed to extol 
the virtues of malt liquor. When properly fer- 
mented, well hopped, and of a moderate strength, 
they are refreshing, wholesome, and nourishing. 
It is a common observation, that those who drink 
sound malt liquors, are stronger than those who 
drink wine; and to those who are trained to boxing, 
and other athletic exercises, old home-brewed beer 
is particularly recommended, drawn from the cask, 
and not bottled. Hence Jackson, the celebrated 
trainer, affirms, if any person accustomed to drink 
wine, would but try malt liquor for a month, he 
would find himself so much the better for it, that 
he would soon take to the one, and abandon the 
other. Some suppose the superior bottom of the 
British Soldiery to be owing, in a great measure, 
to their use of malt liquor. 

*« Your wine-tippling, dram-sipping fellows retreat, 
But your beer-dfinking Britons can never be beat." 

Dn. Arse. 

Good home brewed beer has been styled by some 
vinum Britannicum, and by others liquid bread. 

\ See " Modem Domestic Medicine.'" a Popular Treatise on 
the Nature, Causes, and Treatment of all Diseases ; for the use 
of Families and Invalids, (page 321.) By T. J. Graham, M. D. 


There can be no doubt of its highly nutritive and 
wholesome qualities, and it is much to be regret- 
ted, that so few families in this kingdom now ever 
brew their own beer; but are content to put up 
with the half-fermented, adulterated wash found in 
public houses, or with the no less adulterated and 
impure drink called porter. 

Malt liquors are divided into small beer, strong 
beer, ale, and porter. Small beer is best calculated 
for common use, being less heating and stimulating 
than other malt liquors. When used soft and mild, 
after having been thoroughly fermented and puri- 
fied, it forms an excellent diluent with food, more 
especially at dinner. Sydenham was in the habit 
of using it in this manner, both at dinner and sup- 
per, and he justly considered its being well hopped 
a great advantage. In general, it is, without doubt, 
the best drink which can be taken at dinner, by 
persons in the middle and higher ranks of society, 
who are in the habit of drinking wine after that meal. 
As it abounds with carbonic acid gas, or fixed air, 
it is the most useful diluent for labourers, because 
it cools the body, abates thirst, and, at the same 
time, stimulates very moderately the animal pow- 
ers. Small beer, when stale and hard, is unwhole- 
some to all persons. 

Sound strong beer is very nutritious and whole- 
some; indeed, it is generally considered more nou- 
rishing than wine. It is a most useful drink to the 
weak, the lean, and the laborious, provided they 
are not very subject to flatulency, nor troubled with 
disorders of the breast* If taken in moderate quan- 
tity, and of the best quality, it will often be found 

* Even this will depends little on circumstances, for there is 
i particular kind of beer brewed at Ashburton, in Derbyshire, 
very full of fixed air, called Ashburton pop, which is said to be 
very useful in many cases of consumption. 


of great service to the invalid, in assisting to restore 
his strength, spirits, and flesh. It should he drank 
from the cask bottled; beer being more likely to 
disagree with the stomach, and to produce flatulen- 

There is a general prejudice against beer in the 
ease of the bilious and sedentary, but it appears to 
me without sufficient foundation. Bilious people 
are such as have weak stomachs, and impaired di- 
gestion, and those who are sedentary, are nearly, in 
these respects, always in a similar state. Now, I 
have not observed, that beer tends to weaken such 
stomachs, or to become acescent, or otherwise to 
disagree with them; on the contrary, I believe, it 
will be found, in the majority of cases, that this 
beverage, agrees much better than wine, since it is 
far less disposed to ascescency, and better fitted to 
act as a stomachic, and, therefore, to invigorate both 
the digestive organs, and the constitution at large.* 
That it is very far superior for such persons to di- 
luted spirit, in any form, I am fully persuaded. Of 
course, I here speak of sound home-brewed strong- 
beer, and of a moderate strength. No man can 
answer for the effects of the stuff usually sold as beer; 
and we know strong ale is always difficult of diges- 

Strong ale is, undoubtedly, the most nutritive of 
all malt liquors, but being digested with greater 
difficulty tnan the other sorts, it cannot with pro- 
priety be taken but by those who are strong, and 
who use much active exercise. The best ale is made 
from fine pale malt, and with hops of the finest qua- 
lity. It should sparkle in the glass, but the smal- 
ler the bubbles the better. I ought to add, that in 

* The infusion of hop, contained in all good beer, is a very 
useful bitter tonic, that tends to strengthen the stomach, and 
mvigorate the whole frame- 


some cases of general weakness, where the indivi- 
dual is certainly recovering, and is possessed of a 
good measure of strength of stomach, a little of the 
finest ale daily will be found highly restorative. 

Porter, when good, is not an unwholesome drink; 
but it is very difficult to procure it of the best qua- 
lity.* I cannot recommend it to those who are 
desirous of preserving their health. 

Good spruce beer is diuretic and antiscorbutic, 
and sits easy on a weak stomach. It is well suited 
to the summer, being, from the quantity of fixed 
air it contains, highly refreshing, and cooling. 

•Ardent spirits, of every description, are, in their 
nature and ordinary effects, extremely unfriendly 
to the human constitution, and the art of distillation 
is beyond all doubt, the most fatal discovery, in re- 
spect of the health of the community, which the 
ingenuity of man ever devised. 

The celebrated John Hunter, on dissecting a man 
who had been much addicted to the use of spirits, 
found the blood converted into a kind of oily mat- 
ter. And it has been proved by experiment, that 
their pernicious effects upon horses, are as great as 
those produced by giving them various well known 

I am fully of opinion, that spirits should never 
be taken by those who are desirous of preserving 
good health, and prolonging their lives, except oc- 
casionally as a medicine. They may now and then 
be employed medicinally as a cordial, when the body 
has been exposed for a long time to wet weather, 
more especially if it be combined with cold; when 
the body has been suddenly exhausted of its strength, 
and a disposition to fainting has been induced; and 
in a few extreme cases of putrid fever. When 

* In this country there is no difficulty in procuring good por- 



used in any other manner, they stimulate the sto- 
mach and neighbouring viscera to an excessive and 
unnatural action, impair the appetite, impede diges- 
tion, and lay the foundation of organic mischief in 
the most important of the digestive organs, and 
these effects are as certainly produced by the fre- 
quent use of spirits diluted with water, as when 
taken pure. Weak brandy and water is a very ex- 
ceptionable beverage for common use, notwithstand- 
ing its being frequently recommended by some 
medical men. * Some will say, if wine turns acid, 
and beer does not agree, what are we to drink? I 
answer, it is questionable whether good sound beer 
of a moderate strength, does disagree with you; 
that the common beer should prove disagreeable, 
can excite no surprise, but let those who are at a 
loss to know what to drink at dinner and supper, 
on account of wine proving acescent, get some 
sound home-brewed beer, and I will venture to as- 
sert, that in nine cases out of ten, it will be found 
both nutritive and easy of digestion. Even in 
cases of indigestion, it will be found very whole- 
some, under a proper diet and regimen in other re- 
spects, and suitable medicine if any be required,! 

* Dr. Falconer very justly objected to this practice, in the 
strongest manner. Some who advocate it say, "What is wine 
but diluted spirit?" This is mere trifling 1 . Wine, it is true, 
contains a great deal of spirit, but during the process of perfect 
fermentation, it is intimately mixed with the aqueous part, and 
also much modified by commixture with the saccharine, mucila- 
ginous, and extractive matter of the grape, &c. Spirit and 
water combine very imperfectly, and there is reason to believe 
that when taken into the stomach, the spirit quickly evaporates, 
and acts on the coats of the stomach, as pure spirit. 

f I would not be misunderstood here. There are undoubtedly, 
many cases of indigestion and bilious complaints, as they arc 
called, in which malt liquors will not answer, and it cannot be 
otherwise, because there are numerous instances of such mala- 
dies in which no stimulant whatever can be borne ; but there 
are also very many in which light stomachics and stimulants 


(See page 64. ) But if malt liquor will not agree, 
take toast and water, barley-water, or a little soda 
water. Soda water made by the individual him- 
self, with the soda powders, and toast and water 
instead of plain water, is a very wholesome and be- 
neficial diluent for the valetudinarian. 

I need hardly add, that all liqueurs are perni- 


The proper quantity of liquid food may be stated 
to be from three to four pints a day; but this may 
with propriety be exceeded in some instances, for 
example, in hot weather, we require more than we 
do in cold weather, and persons who lead a labo- 
rious life need more than the less active, and the 
sedentary. It is without doubt a good rule for 
those who have weak stomachs, to restrict them- 
selves to two or three pints of liquid food during 
the day, since a moderately dry diet is found to 
conduce, in such cases, to the restoration of a 
healthy tone of stomach, and to the recovery of 
health and strength. All trainers to athletic exer- 
cises remark, that drinking much swells the belly, 
is bad for the wind, and encourages soft, unhealthy 
flesh;, and those who are suffering under indiges- 
tion, or severe bilious disorder, will universally 
find, that an indulgence in much liquid impedes 
digestion, and renders them very uncomfortable. 
It is a good rule to drink only with solid food, and 

are of inestimable service, and here I maintain, malt liquors 
will often agree uncommonly well, and, from their tonic quali- 
ties, will assist us in conquering the disorder. My principal 
reason for recommending beer in this volume, is because its 
value is too little known and appreciated. Every invalid must 
in some measure, feel his oion -way, and if he finds this or any 
other liquor to disagree, it should be given up. 


seldom on an empty stomach, or after long fasting, 
excepting under the pressure of great thirst; and 
also to drink little and often at meals, rather than 
a great draught at once. A given quantity of fluid 
will quench the thirst better, if taken by mouth- 
fuls at a time, than when drank at once. Most per- 
sons who have weak digestive powers, find drink- 
ing half an hour, or an hour, after dinner, better 
than drinking with that meal. 

A variety of liquors at the same meal is certain- 
ly bad. 

As it respects the taking of liquids warm or cold, 
this is a point which must be determined by cir- 
cumstances. The valetudinarian and the aged ge- 
nerally find their stomach most at ease under the 
use of lukewarm drink, but the strong man does 
not commonly require it in any other than its na- 
tural temperature, especially if it be fermented li- 
quor. In cold weather, however, the drink ought 
frequently to be warm; but the practice of taking 
it very hot is pernicious. 


Condiments are those substances which are taken 
with our food to promote digestion, or to correct 
some hurtful property in the food taken: and as 
they are employed both with solid and liquid food, 
they properly fall to be noticed in this place. It 
may be observed, as a general rule, that wholesome 
seasonings, when used in small quantities, merely 
to give sapidity to the food, certainly have a ten- 
dency to increase the appetite, and to promote di- 
gestion; but where they are either unwholesome, 
or taken immoderately, they tend very much to 
weaken the stomach, to occasion acrimony in the 


fluids, and to produce a general irritation in the 
whole system. 

Condiments are usually divided into the saline, 
the sweet, the acid, the oleaginous, and the spicy 
or aromatic. 

The chief saline condiment is salt, and a very 
valuable one it is. It is a natural and necessary sti- 
mulant to the digestive organs, especially of carni- 
vorous animals, and its daily use seems to conduce 
much to the preservation of health and strength. 

The principal advantages of using salt are, that 
it promotes the solution and mixture of the gluti- 
nous and oily parts of our food, and is peculiarly 
calculated as a solvent for fat meats; that it has a 
tendency to correct sourness or ascescency, and, 
consequently, is a wholesome addition to vegeta- 
ble food; and that it promotes the gastric and in- 
testinal secretions, and a free perspiration. It is 
also of much use where a large quantity of animal 
food is consumed, on account of its preserving the 
fluids from that putrescency, which the free use of 
such food tends to produce. From these observa- 
tions it will appear, that salt is more necessary with 
fat meat than with lean; while less of it should be 
taken by the young, florid, and hale, than by those 
of an opposite age and habit. 

Sugar is nutritious, antiseptic, and laxative. In 
moderate quantities it is wholesome, but being very 
fermentable, is apt, in some constitutions, to pro- 
duce flatulency, heat, and thirst. Rickety chil- 
dren chlorotic girls, hysterical women, and all who 
are troubled with acidity and weakness in the sto- 
mach, or bowels, should use it sparingly, and those 
who are anxious to preserve their teeth white and 
sound, should not make free with it. 

Vinegar, in small quantities, is a grateful and 
salutary stimulus to the stomach, correcting the pu- 


trescency of animal food, and the flatulency of ve- 
getable. It is particularly useful when eaten with 
animal food of a viscid or glutinous nature, as it 
promotes its digestion, and it is on this account 
that we commonly take it with the meat of young 
animals. Its use is improper in many valetudinary 
cases, especially for gouty persons, and those trou- 
bled with red gravel, or costiveness; in green sick- 
ness; and for rickety patients and young children. 

It is very proper for those troubled with white 

Pickles are merety vegetable receptacles for vi- 
negar, but the vegetable being hardened by the 
acid, renders it somewhat difficult of digestion, 
and, therefore, pickles are not much to be recom- 
mended. The pickled onion seems to be among 
the most wholesome of this sort of condiment. 

Salad oil, when used as a seasoning to raw vege- 
tables, checks their fermentation in the stomach, 
and thereby prevents them from proving too flatu- 
lent. Used in this manner, in small quantities, it 
proves a help to digestion; but when taken in con- 
siderable quantities, it has an opposite effect, and 
lays the foundation for bilious complaints. It sel- 
dom, however, agrees with weak stomachs; for in 
such cases, even in its mildest state, it easily gene- 
rates a rancid acrimony, extremely injurious to di- 

The aromatic condiments consist chiefly of the 
foreign spices, as pepper, cayenne pepper, cinna- 
mon, nutmeg, mace, cloves, and ginger, and of a 
few garden roots and seeds, as garlic, horse-radish, 
and mustard. 

Most of these are wholesome, when taken in 
small quantities with food of a flatulent or cold na- 
ture, and by persons who require a gentle stimu- 
lus. All the varieties of pepper, as well as cloves, 


and garlic, are heating and stimulating, and should, 
therefore, be used sparingly, especially by persons 
of a full or strong habit, and those disposed to in- 
flammatory diseases. The best aromatic condi- 
ments for frequent use, are cinnamon, carraway, 
ginger, and mustard. Ginger is one of the most 
agreeable and wholesome spices, and mustard is a 
very useful condiment, especially in cold weather, 
and where the stomach and bowels are weak. 


There can be no doubt, that regularity in meals 
is a point worthy of some attention from all men, 
and especially from the valetudinarian. Dr. Dar- 
win has justly remarked, that those who have weak 
stomachs will be able to digest more food, if they 
take their meals at regular hours; because they 
have both the stimulus of the aliment they take, 
and the periodical habit to assist their digestion. 

A few writers have differed respecting the num- 
ber of meals that man ought to take in a day, but 
there is not much difference of opinion on this 
point at the present time, at least among the more- 
able part of the profession. Physicians generally 
agree, that from three to four meals in the twen- 
ty-four hours, is the proper number for persons 
in general, whether in health or sickness. Thai 
this is enough for those in health there can be 
no reasonable doubt; and, in my opinion, it is 
equally certain that it is sufficient for such as are 
sick or weakly. It is a very mistaken and preju- 
dicial notion to suppose, that those who are deli- 
cate should eat little and often, because, by follow- 
ing that course, scarcely two hours elapse during 


the day without the individual taking food, and 
thereby the stomach is kept in a constant state of 
irritation. The inevitable consequence of this is, 
that digestion and alimentation arc much less per- 
fect, and nutrition far less certain and complete. It 
should be recollected that the stomach, like every 
other organ, needs its periods of repose; and as di- 
gestion is seldom or ever completed in less than 
three or four hours, and it is evident we ought not 
to indulge in a second meal before the one previ- 
ously taken is perfectly digested, it must be uni- 
versally admitted, that we shall do wrong to make 
the intervals between our meals shorter than three 
or four hours, at the least. It is to be observed, 
that animal food is much longer in undergoing the 
process of digestion than vegetable aliment, and 
iherefore the more substantial our repast, the long- 
er ought the interval to be between that and the 
next meal. Where the organs of digestion arc 
strong and active, vegetables are, for the most part, 
perfectly digested in two or three hours, and ani- 
mal food in three or four hours; but when the di- 
gestive functions are weak, these periods are some- 
times extended. Upon the whole, few can do 
wrong to take four meals a day, provided the sup- 
per, when any is taken, is very slight; though 
many will find three meals a day quite enough. 
For persons in the higher ranks of life, the best 
periods are eight, twelve, four, and eight o'clock; 
that is, breakfast, luncheon, dinner, and tea; for 
those in the middling classes, eight, two, six, and 
nine o'clock. No dinner should be taken later 
than four o'clock, and in fixing this hour I go to 
the utmost limit allowed by the principles of health 
and longevity. Three o'clock is a much better 
hour for fashionable society, and it behoves such 
part of the community to remember, that it is a 1 ? 


easy for them to make three o'clock the fashion- 
able hour of dinner, as seven or eight o'clock, and 
they may depend it would be much better for their 
health and spirits. Independent of the manifest 
impropriety of taking our principal meal in the 
evening, when the vigour of the body is much on 
the decline, the pulse quickened, and all the secre- 
tions lessened, a grand evil attending the practice 
is, that a late dinner inevitably leads to a late re- 
tirement to bed, and on this follows a late rising 
in the morning. These evils combined, have a 
great effect upon the strength and spirits, more es- 
pecially of those who are not strong and active. 

The principal meals are breakfast, dinner, tea, 
and supper; or breakfast, luncheon, dinner, and 

Breakfast. This is one of the most natural of 
our meals, and for which a temperate person ought 
to have a good relish, and in general, indeed, will 
have a great relish, if a proper course of living be 
pursued. In order fully to enjoy this meal, it is 
necessary that the individual should have risen an 
hour or more before partaking of it; that the sup- 
per on the preceding night should have been light 
and sparing, and the sleep refreshing. A proper 
supply of nourishment in the morning, is requisite 
to repair the loss sustained by fasting, and the in- 
crease of insensible perspiration during the night, 
and to fit the body for the active duties of life in 
the succeeding hours of the day. The solidity of 
this meal should be regulated by the labour or ex- 
ercise to be taken, and by the time of dining. Of 
course, the healthy, the laborious, and the active 
man will require a more nourishing breakfast than 
the valetudinarian and the sedentary; and it will 
be found universally, that a substantial breakfast 


tvill enable us to wait with greater ease for a late 
dinner. * 

With respect to the solid food at this meal, the 
best is stale bread, plain or toasted, biscuit, fresh 
eggs, and cold roast mutton, beef, or chicken. To 
a little butter, taken cold, spread on bread or bis- 
cuit, there is in general no objection, but the use of 
it on warm toast, rolls, or melted in any other 
form should be avoided. Good fresh butter is de 
cidedly the most wholesome. 

Some have recommended a dry breakfast as pe 
culiarly wholesome, but in general we require a 
due proportion of fluid aliment at this meal, to 
supply the great waste which the animal fluids in- 
variably sustain during sleep, through the increase 
of insensible perspiration. It is certain, however, 
that many people take too much liquid in the 
morning, and it behoves those who have weak sto- 
machs to be somewhat abstemious in this point., 
and more particularly in the use of tea and coffee. 
One breakfast-cupful of either of these liquids, 
ought to suffice for every bilious and dyspeptic 
subject. Good fresh milk may be advantageously 

* In the reign of Henry the Eighth, wine and beer were 
used at breakfast, and the quantity served lo one person was 
a pint of each. And it is well known, that a maid of honour, 
in the court of Queen Elizabeth, breakfasted upon beef, and 
drank ale after it. In those days, people of every condition 
rose early, were constantly in the open air, and took a great 
deal of exercise, which not only enabled them comfortably to 
digest such substantial breakfasts, but indeed, made them ne- 
cessary. Now both the higher and middling classes of society 
rise late, sit much in warm rooms, go comparatively little into 
the open air, and take still less active exercise, and what is the 
consequence? — debility of stomach and bowels, and conse- 
quently, of the whole Irani;', combined with general nervous 
irritability, and instead of being able to take a hearty substan- 
tial breakfast, thousands are compelled to sit down to two or 
three cupfuls of a watery vegetable infusion, with a slice of 
bread and butter. 


taken in larger quantities, and it will be found par- 
ticularly useful to many invalids, more especially 
to some nervous and enervated habits. Mr. Aber- 
nethy relates an instance in point, which is worth 
recording here. He says, — 


" Now I have seen plenty of cases of great affec- 
tion of the heart having been relieved, by putting 
the bowels to rights. There was a friend of one of 
the pupils here, whom he asked me to see; and, 
upon my word, I thought she had an organic affec- 
tion of this organ; but recollecting these facts,* inci- 
dent to my own case and others, I said, pray, Ma- 
dam, is there not any particular time at which you 
tind your heart get worse? ' Oyes, (she answered,) 
always after breakfast. ' Pray, what do you take to 
breakfast? The answer was, tea. don't take tea 
any more; I would never take into my stomach that, 
which seemed to provoke the complaint. This led 
to a lecture on diet, and the result was, that she was 
to take bread and milk; however, I thought it was a 
lost case. About a year after this time, I one day 
met this pupil in the street, and upon venturing to 
say, Pray, Sir, may I be allowed to ask how the 
young lady is? he replied, < 0, Sir, you have cured 
her, perfectly cured her, by causing her to take 
bread and milk to breakfast.' " 

Dinner. I have already observed, that the hour 
of dinner should be about two or three o'clock. In 
addition to the evils already mentioned as arising 
from very late dinners, it may be stated, that by 

* The facts here alluded to, were great irregularity, and ex- 
treme rapidity of the pulse, unusual palpitation of the heart, 
and depression of spirits. 


such a practice the meal is more indulged in than 
when taken at an early hour, and consequently, in- 
ordinate repletion follows. 

Tea. The time at which this repast is taken 
must depend on the time of dinner. If a late din- 
ner is taken, that is, after four o'clock, no other 
meal ought to be allowed in the evening but tea, 
which should be served at about eight or nine 
o'clock. The practice of having tea so soon as an 
hour and a half or two hours after dinner, is im- 
proper, at least in most instances, because the di- 
gestion of that meal being then only half gone 
through, its completion is thereby impeded. It is 
true, that when the appetite has been indulged to 
the utmost at dinner, we find a mild, warm, dilu- 
ting drink, to give ease from the sense of stomachic 
distention, and to prove soothing, but those who 
wish to preserve their health, and prolong their 
lives, must avoid such unrestricted indulgence as 
renders an early recourse to a warm diluent neces- 
sary. Under a proper course of living, fluid enough 
is taken at dinner, and we ought not to have re- 
course to tea sooner than from three to four hours 

Supper. Cardan observes, that he had con- 
versed with many persons who had lived to be a 
hundred years of age, and they all declared to him, 
that they had made it a rule to eat little at night. 
This is a fact that will, perhaps, have more weight 
with most persons, than a great deal of reasoning 
on the subject. Those who take a late dinner, 
should eat no supper, but those who dine early, 
say about one or two o'clock, may require a slight 
repast about nine o'clock, but no later. In sum- 
mer, some ripe fruit, in season, with a small biscuit, 
will be very proper, especially if the individual is 
troubled with excess of heat or feverishness during 


the night. In winter, some dry toast and a small 
glass of mild beer, or some buiscuit, or an egg 
lightly boiled, with bread and butter, will be gene- 
rally suitable. 

In case of a late dinner, some luncheon is almost 
always necessary, as it is highly improper to fast 
from breakfast to a late dinner. It may consist of 
a little good soup and bread, or an egg and some 
bread and butter, or a very thin slice of cold meat 
and bread, with a little malt liquor, or half a glass 
of wine. To eat plentifully of meat at luncheon, 
is not advisable. The best time for this slight re- 
past, is between twelve and one o'clock. 

The chief rule to be observed at meals, is to 
masticate your food ivell and to eat slowly. It 
is of consequence also to cultivate a spirit of cheer- 
fulness and sociability. The period of meals should 
be one of perfect relaxation from all worldly care 
and anxiety, and from all close thought. 

After all substantial meals, there should follow 
half an hour, or an hour of quietude and ease, when 
the active duties of life may be entered upon, or ex- 
ercise may be taken. The interval betwixt break- 
fast and dinner, is an excellent period for exer- 
cise, and the valetudinarian should not be satisfied 
with less than two or three hours of it at that time. 
This will duly accelerate the circulation, strength- 
en the digestive powers, and not only create an ap- 
petite for the dinner, but enable the stomach to di- 
gest the food then taken with greater ease and fa- 


In the consumption of food we are liable to com- 
mit errors, both as to its quantity and Quality, of 


which the former error is by far the most detri- 
mental. For there can be no doubt, that a very 
small quantity of food of indifferent quality, will, in 
general, be more easily digested, and do less injury 
to the constitution, than a large quantity of thai 
which is in point of quality superior. Again, when 
we reflect on the multiplied evils resulting from 
undue repletion, the small quantity of food neces- 
sary for life and health, and the numerous manifest 
proofs we have, that a rather scanty diet most 
powerfully conduces to longevity, every unpreju- 
diced man must admit that the subject of quantity 
is a most important one. 

It is the opinion of the majority of the most dis- 
tinguished physicians, that intemperance in diet 
destroys the bulk of mankind; in other words, 
that what is eaten and drank, and thus taken into 
the habit, is the original cause of by far the greater 
number of diseases which afflict the human race. 
Every medical practitioner has abundant proof oi 
the correctness of this sentiment; and all persons 
may, if they please, be convinced of the reality of 
the fact, that a very small quantity of food con- 
duces to long life, by observing the mode of living, 
in this respect, pursued by such as attain to a good 
or an extreme old age. It is rarely that a very 
aged person is to be found, who has not observed 
a rather scanty diet. Old Parr, who lived to sec 
his hundred and fifty -third year, was always ex- 
ceedingly temperate, and there is every reason to 
believe, that he would have lived many years 
longer had he not been taken into the family of the 
Earl of Arundel, for in examining his body the 
physicians found every inward part sound and 
strong. They, therefore, justly concluded, that 
the change to a plentiful diet so disordered his 
body, as to prove a speedy cause of death. Hen 


ry Jenkins, of Ellerton, in Yorkshire, who lived 
to the age of one hundred and sixty-nine, was a 
poor fisherman, and when he could no longer fol- 
low this occupation, he went begging about Bolton, 
and other places, his diet being uniformly coarse 
and sour. The Cardinal de Salis, Archbishop of 
Seville, who died at the age of one hundred and ten, 
states his diet to have been invariably sparing; and 
that Cornaro's (who lived to above a hundred years) 
was so, is well known. The celebrated physician 
Galen lived to see his hundred and fortieth year, 
and was from the age of twenty-eight, always spar- 
ing in the quantity of food he took. In addition 
to these instances, I may remark, that in the four- 
teenth volume of the Philosophical Transactions, 
there is an account of a number of very old per- 
sons in the north of England, and it is said, " their 
food in all this mountainous country, is exceed- 
ingly coarse, as salted beef, and sour-leavened oat- 
bread. " 

But a small quantity of food docs not only ward 
oif disease and prolong life, it likewise preserves 
the bodily strength, and it will, therefore, be found 
universally, that (cseteris paribus) those aged 
persons who consume the least food in moderation, 
are the strongest. Sir John Sinclair mentions an 
extraordinary instance of this, in the person of an 
aged physician of eminence in the medical military 
department, (I believe the distinguished Dr. Jack- 
son. ) This physician, in describing his own state, 
says, " I have wandered a good deal about the 
world, and never followed any prescribed rule in 
any thing; my health has been tried in all ways; 
and by the aids of temperance and hard work, I 
have worn out two armies, in fwo wars, and pro- 
bably could wear out another before my period 
of old age arrives. I eat no animal food, drink no 


wine or malt liquor, or spirits of any kind; I wear 
no flannel; and neither regard wind nor rain, heat 
nor cold, when business is in theway." The same 
writer states, that the late Alderman Watson in- 
formed him, that at the age of seventy, he was 
free from every bodily complaint, and had never 
paid five shillings a year to the faculty in the course 
of his life, which he attributed to his having re- 
stricted himself to fourteen ounces a day of solid 

Generally speaking, the quantity of food must 
be proportionate to the appetite or feeling of want, 
to the wastes of the organs, to the energy of the 
stomach, and, lastly, to the state of the body as it 
respects health or disease. 

The whole of these circumstances must be con- 
sidered in order to ascertain the quantity proper in 
given instances; for if we depend on either of them 
singly, they are very likely to mislead us. The 
appetite, for example, often outstrips the energy 
of the stomach or digestive faculty, but if the in- 
dividual is acquainted with the strength or weak- 
ness of his digestive powers, (which all may and 
ought to be,) and is on his guard, he will know 
when to stop. When a person has little or no ap- 
petite, it is a certain proof that but little food is 
required; and when there is a good appetite, it is 
a valuable rule not to indulge it to the utmost, but 
to leave off when the feeling of want is in a great 
measure allayed. The stomach does not complain 
chiefly because it is empty, as has sometimes been 
said, but because an admirable sympathetic con- 
nexion associates it with the uneasy feelings of 
other parts, and makes it to suffer through the 
mere wants of other organs. Therefore, the ob- 
ject in taking food ought to be, to supply the 
waste or wants of the system in general, and if we 


times, to determine respecting the quantity he 
ought to consume, and to the weakly and the in- 
valid, I am persuaded, this is a species of informa- 
tion capable of being turned to good account. 

Dr. Cheyne has recommended the following quan- 
tity of food as sufficient for a healthy man, of ordi- 
nary stature, not following any laborious employ- 
ment; viz: eight ounces of meat, twelve of bread 
or vegetable food, and about a pint of wine, or other 
generous liquor, in the twenty -four hours. He adds, 
that the valetudinary, and those employed in se- 
dentary professions, or intellectual studies, must 
lessen this quantity, if they would wish to pre- 
serve their health, and the freedom of their spirits 
long,* and this is undoubtedly true. 

Dr. Bryan Robinson, when he had passed his 
sixtieth year, was seized with an alarming paralytic 
disorder, which led him to pay particular attention 
to the quantity of his food, and he states, that by 
lessening it, he freed himself from the returns of a 
sore throat and diarrhoea, to which he had long 
been occasionally subject, and also greatly reco- 
vered from his paralytic weakness. He confined 
himself to about eighteen ounces of solid food, 
twenty-four ounces of liquid food, and ten ounces 
of water in the twenty -four hours. It is probable, 
that at his age he might have lessened this quantity 
a little, with increased advantage. 

Cornaro, at the age of forty, found that twelve 
ounces of solid food, and fourteen ounces of wine, 
or twenty-six ounces in all, was as much as he could 
consume with safety; and when, as he advanced in 
age, his friends advised him to increase the quantity 
a little, he found the addition of only two ounces 
of solid, and the same proportion of liquid food, 

* Es9ay on Health, page 34. 

Missing pages: 
p. 81-82 missing 


occasioned a serious illness, and he was compelled 
to return to his former allowance. It may be 
worth while to notice here Mr. Abernethy's senti- 
ments, respecting Cornaro's mode of living. He 
says, — . 

"When patients apply to me, I offend them 
greatly by telling them they have their health in 
their own keeping. If a man were to do as Cor- 
naro did, he would be rewarded for it by a long and 
happy life. Cornaro was given over by his phy- 
sicians at the age of thirty -five; he saw there was 
not the least chance of recovery, if he continued 
to swallow the trash they were in the habit of giv- 
ing him, and that there was no good in putting 
food into his stomach, if his stomach could not di- 
gest it. So, said he, * I dropt the plan pursued 
by my physicians, and adopted a regimen of my 
own.' The principal beauty of Cornaro's life was 
the happy state of mind in which his continued 
temperance preserved him. Now, what I propose 
as a diet, is Cornaro's diet, and it is no fanciful sys- 
tem. The diet, should always be of a moderate 
quantity, it should not be wholly vegetable or ani- 
mal, but it ought to be of a nutritive kind."" 

Many think that too much stress is laid on the 
doctrines of Cornaro, and that his habits ought not 
to be introduced as the standard of dietetic perfec- 
tion. Dr. Paris says, (Treatise on Diet, page 261,) 
"Nothing can be more absurd than to establish a 
rule of weight and measure upon such occasions." 
But it must be recollected, that Mr. Abernethy re- 
commends such a diet chiefly, (if not exclusively,) 
to patients, to those who are labouring under some; 

* Anatomical Lectures. 


bodily malady, and in such circumstances, I be- 
lieve, correct observation and experience will very 
generally sanction the value of the practice. I 
am not disposed to advocate the cause of abso- 
lute weight and measure, that is, of weighing the 
solids and measuring the liquids, but am, never- 
theless, firmly persuaded, that the majority of the 
sick and delicate will find it of inestimable ad- 
vantage to be able pretty accurately to determine 
by the eye, the above or any similar quantity, 
and nearly to adhere to it, and that they will ex- 
perience this guide to be a more certain one, 
and of greater controling power, than "a careful 
attention to eat slowly, and to the first feeling of 
satiety." It is remarked by Dr. Philip, to whose 
recommendation Dr. Paris refers, " there is a mo- 
ment when the relish given by the appetite ceases; 
a single mouthful taken after this, oppresses a weak 
stomach." It should be observed, a single mouthful 
iaken after a certain quantity has been swallowed, 
and much before the relish given by the appetite 
ceases, will very often infallibly oppress a weak 
stomach, and, therefore, this is a far less valuable 
rule than Cornaro's. Indeed, it cannot be ques- 
tioned that a small portion of food taken beyond the 
certain quantity now alluded to, and before the re- 
lish of appetite ceases, will very frequently oppress 
the stomach and system of the delicate, although 
they may hardly be sensible of it at the time, or 
for some hours after. This oppression is not always 
sensibly felt in the stomach, although the constitu- 
tion itself sensibly feels it, and the patient's reco- 
very is, consequently, not so progressive and de- 
cisive as it would otherwise be. This is a point 
not worth insisting upon to those in health, but as 
it respects the sick and weakly, it is of much im- 
portance, and, therefore, I greatly prefer Cornaro J 6 


plan of adhering to that absolute quantity, which is 
found by careful observation to conduce most cer- 
tainly to the recovery and continuance of health 
aid strength, than to the rule of eating slowly, and 
carefully attending to the first feeling of satiety. 
The latter will often mislead, but the former never 

As a general rule, I think the following quanti- 
ties of food will be found those which best con- 
duce to the preservation of health, and prolonga- 
tion of life, in the weakly, the sedentary, the inva- 
lid, and the aged, — viz. 

fBread and bultcr, or biscuit ? ,, 
Breakfast, < and butter, &c. 5 * 

Q/rca, &c. in dilution. Eight. 

C Bread or other vegetables Two. 

jy j Meat Seven- 

uinner, < u ^ t wine Qr ma]t ] ifnJ01 , Six- 

C Water Two. 

C Bread and butter, or biscuit, > ^, 

Tea, ) &c. \ Tluee 

£.Tea, or other liquid Eight. 

Total during the day, 16 ounces of solid, and 24 ounces of 

liquid food. 

In the case of any severe chronic disease, a strict 
adherence to these quantities will be found of stri- 
king advantage, in aiding the powers of exercise 
and medicine to overcome the complaint. I would 
strongly advise those who are suffering from pro- 
tracted chronic gout, severe rheumatism, or indi- 
gestion, or derangement of the general health in 
whatever way appearing, to try these quantities ex- 
actly for a few weeks, or months; and will venture 
to assert, that, in numerous instances, the benefits 
arising therefrom will be found almost incredible. 

But I ought to add, that many invalids, who have 
their digestive powers greatly enervated, will ,find 
it necessary to lower even this moderate quantity 


of food, and here they must be guided by their feel- 
ings, for they may be assured, that if this amount 
occasions any uneasiness or heaviness after meals, 
though at the distance of two, three, or four hours, 
they have taken too much, and that the quantity 
ought to be gradually lessened, till they arrive at 
that which they find to be followed with satisfac- 
tion, and a return of appetite in a reasonable time. 
Dr. Johnson correctly remarks, that the dyspeptic 
invalid " will often derive more nutriment and 
strength from four ounces of gruel every six hours, 
than from half a pound of animal food, and a pint 
of wine;" and he further observes, " on six ounces 
of animal food, a biscuit, and a glass of water, I 
have known invalids dine for months in succession, 
and attain, on this regimen, a degree of strength 
and serenity of mind, beyond their most sanguine 

Those who are in perfect health, and such as 
take much exercise, or labour hard, will require a 
larger portion of food, and the solids may be in- 
creased to 20 ounces and the liquids to 40 ounces; 
but hardly beyond that with safety. 

When persons live up to the utmost limit of ra- 
tional indulgence, as it respects the quantity of ali- 
ment taken, it is an excellent plan to observe oc- 
casionally a day of abstinence. This is a grand 
means of preserving health under the habitual use 
of a full diet, and is worthy of particular attention 
from those who follow such a course, as many in- 
dividuals of that class will not find it a difficult 
matter to live low, or maigre, as the French say, 
one day in a week, or a fortnight, although they 
find it too hard a task to limit themselves daily to 
a proper quantity. By adopting this plan, many 

* On Morbid Sensibility of the Stomach, p. 50. 


who live freely would enjoy better health than they 
do. And it should be observed also, that when 
those who live temperately, happen to indulge in- 
ordinately, it is a most desirable practice for them 
to live very low, for the next day or two. These 
rules are founded on the fact, that occasional fast- 
ing is one of the best antidotes against too frequent 
feasting. An author of reputation* remarks that 
he knew "a person of great literary eminence, 
(John Home, the author of Douglas,) who lived 
only occasionally in London, and bore, without in- 
convenience, the luxuries of that capital, by follow- 
ing one rule, that of eating only a poached egg on 
Sunday." John Home not only acted a most wise 
part in doing so, but he selected for his purpose the 
best day of all the seven. 

I need hardly add, that excessive abstinence, is 
highly detrimental; it exhausts the animal spirits, 
impairs the digestive powers, enervates the whole 
frame, and, if long continued, induces a state of de- 
bility from which it is often difficult entirely to re- 
cover. But this is an error we very rarely wit- 

I shall conclude this subject with a few miscel- 
laneous rules relating thereto. 1. It is improper to 
eat immediately after great exercise, or when we are 
hot. We should first rest a little, till the body is 
cool, and the stomach has recovered itself from the 
hurrying effects of the exercise. 2. It is highly 
advisable to restrict ourselves to those kinds of 
food, which experience points out as the best cal- 
culated for our constitution and stomach. 3. A va- 
riety of dishes at dinner ought to be avoided, even 
by the healthy. 4. It is a most objectionable prac- 
tice to eat a small quantity of food, as a piece of 

* Sinclair, in Code of Health, p. 198. 


bread or a biscuit, for example, immediately be- 
fore dinner, or any substantial meal. 


In a book like the present, it is necessary to say 
a little on the subject of cookery, in order that the 
valetudinarian may be able to select that process 
which will best conduce to his health and strength. 

It is certain that simple cookery is a useful art. 
By it our food is rendered more palatable and di- 
gestible, and more conducive to health. It includes 
chiefly the following modes of dressing meat: — 1. 
Roasting. 2. Broiling. 3. Boiling. 4. Stewing. 
5. Frying. 6. Baking. 

Boasting was certainly the first mode invented 
to prepare animal food; for boiling is a more com- 
plicated process, and required the art of manufac- 
turing vessels that could withstand the effect of 
heat. It is an excellent method of rendering meat 
wholesome and nourishing, as, without greatly 
changing its chemical properties, it renders it more 
tender, sapid, and high-flavoured, whilst there is 
not so much dissipation of its nutritive juices as in 
baking, boiling, and some other processes.* It is 
important to observe, that unless meat be kept after 
it is killed till the fibres begin to lose their firmness 
and tension, it will not become tender by roasting. 
The perfection of roasting consists in doing the 
meat neither too slowly, so as to wither it, nor too 
rapidly, so as to burn it. A small joint is best 
roasted on a string, by means of the bottle-jack; a 
large joint requires the spit. Our meat in England 
is often over-done, and particularly over-roasted. 

* Roasted meat is more nutritious and digestible than boiled, 
but it is also more stimulating. 


The process is carried far enough, when the steam 
of the meat puffs out in jets towards the fire, as this 
steam comes from the interior of the joint, and 
makes its way through the brown crust. 

Broiling is a most valuable mode of dressing 
animal food. It is found that broiled meat contains 
more uncoagulated albumen, gelatine, and other 
uncombined chemical principles, than if it had 
been either roasted or boiled. It is this that ren- 
ders broiled meat more juicy and sapid than when 
roasted; and it must also make it more wholesome 
and nutritious. For restoring the strength of in- 
valids, it is the best mode in which animal food 
can be dressed, both from its nutritive qualities 
and from its being easily digested, as the juices are 
so slightly altered, that they require, comparative- 
ly, little preparation to convert them into good 
chyle and healthy blood. 

Boiling is also a useful method of preparing 
some kinds of animal food, rendering it more solu- 
ble, without destroying, if properly done, its nu- 
tritive qualities. It is, however, a grand mistake 
to suppose it to be well calculated for weak sto- 
machs, for, in general, boiled meat is neither so 
easy of digestion, nor so nutritious,* as that pre- 
pared by either of the two foregoing processes. 
Boiled beef, for example, is inferior to roast in 
every point of view, and boiled mutton, though a 
milder food, especially for invalids, cannot be con- 
sidered so wholesome as when roasted. So true 
is it, that boiled meat is inferior to roast, for the 

* It is fully ascertained, that the residue of boiled meat 
passes into the large intestines, in a much shorter time than 
the residue of that which is broiled ; which is a .proof of its 
being much less nutritive, since the most nourishing food is 
always found to be longest under the operation of the digestive 


weakly and delicate, that almost every dyspeptic 
becomes immediately sensible of the difference by 
attention, and in severe indigestion, boiled meat 
of any kind is often found very objectionable, when 
that which is broiled, or even carefully roasted, 
can be taken with satisfaction and benefit. Boil- 
ing is not at all calculated for the flesh of young 

It is, however, well adapted to vegetables, ren- 
dering them more soluble in the stomach, and de- 
priving them of a considerable quantity of air, so 
injurious to those of weak digestive powers. Very 
striking and unexpected effects are sometimes pro- 
duced from the boiling of vegetables, as in the case 
of several plants, which are very acrid, and even 
poisonous, in a raw state, becoming, bland, sweet, 
and wholesome, by simply boiling them in water. 
The potato is a familiar example, being, in its raw 
state, nauseous and unpalatable, perhaps even in a 
slight degree poisonous, as it is one of the night- 
shades, (solanum tuberosum,) but when dressed, 
it is rendered farinaceous, digestible, and whole- 
some. A more striking instance still is the cas- 
sava (jatropha manihot,) of America, which is 
strongly poisonous before it is boiled, and after- 
wards is highly nutritious. The prepared cassava 
is well known in this country under the name of 
tapioca, and forms the basis of an excellent and nu- 
tritive farinaceous pudding. 

Excepting bread, there is no vegetable article of 
so much consequence to man as the potato, and 
since its nutritive and wholesome qualities depend 
very much on the manner of cooking it, (which is 
too often wretchedly performed,) I shall state the 
best mode of preparing them for the table. It is 
of consequence that they be as nearly as possible 
of one size; that they be well washed and cleared 


of earth or dirt, but not pared; and that they be 
put with cold water into a clean pan or kettle, for 
half an hour or an hour. They ought then to be 
put into a fresh quantity of cold water, with a lit- 
tle salt, and boiled in a kettle or sauce-pan, closely 
covered, in the most expeditious manner possible. 
No more water should be put in than merely to 
cover them, as they produce themselves a conside- 
rable quantity of fluid. When sufficiently done, 
the water is to be instantly poured off, and the 
kettle, containing the cooked potatoes, to be placed 
on the side of the fire, with the cover off, until the 
steam be completely evaporated; the potatoes are 
thus rendered quite dry and mealy, before they 
are sent to the table. 

Stewing' has a similar effect to boiling, in depri- 
ving the meat of much of its best juices, and other 
nourishing properties, which are washed out of the 
fibres by the constant entrance and recess of the 
water during the process. Stewed meat is also, in 
general, still less easy of digestion than that which 
is boiled, and, therefore, it is a mode of cooking 
that cannot be recommended as fit for frequent use, 
although it may be useful on certain occasions. 

Frying is an objectionable mode of cooking, be- 
cause it cannot be performed without the use of fat 
or oil, and on account of its rendering the external 
surface of the meat very brown, dry, and therefore 
indigestible. But a great deal depends on the 
manner in which the process is conducted; the 
meat fried by some cooks being far more digesti- 
ble and wholesome than what is so done by others. 
Fried potatoes, and fried pudding, are very un- 
wholesome, and must be avoided by every inva- 

Baking is a process to be preferred to frying, but 
is not so excellent as either boiling or roasting. 


It differs from roasting in not permitting the escape 
of the vapour exhaled from the meat. There is a 
greater retention of the oleaginous juices of the 
meat, which are generally in a burnt empyreumatic 
state, rendering the food less digestible and nutri- 
tious. Yet baked meat, when carefully done, is 
sufficiently wholesome for occasional use. 

I have already remarked (page 35,) that when 
animal food is dissolved in water, and formed into 
a gelatinous solutionor jelly, it should be invaria- 
bly taken with stale bread, because without this the 
nourishment it imparts is inconsiderable. I would 
here observe, that this mode of extracting the gela- 
tinous parts of flesh, in order to present them in a 
pure and concentrated state to the invalid, is liable 
to strong objections, from their being less digesti- 
ble, as well as less nutritive, than the meat itself. 
This is contrary to the general notion, but it is un- 
doubtedly, correct. Jellies, of any description, 
cannot be much recommended to the invalid. 



The term regimen, strictly speaking, signifies 
any rule, but in the present volume, I mean by it, 
cheifly, a proper regulation of the following means 
of preserving health, and prolonging life; viz. — 1. 
Air; 2. Exercise; 3. Sleep; 4. the Government of 
the passions; 5. Clothing; and also, 6. the Art of 
Training for health; each of which will be treated 
of in that manner which appears to me best adapt- 
ed to accomplish the objects I have in view; name- 
ly, to lay before the reader an unvarnished state- 
ment of the inestimable advantages arising from 
their use, and to point out the best methods of 
adapting them to the purposes of promoting health, 
removing disease, and prolonging life. 

I would here bespeak the reader's attention to 
the different sections of this chapter, and more es- 
pecially to that which adverts to the excellent and 
various uses of exercise; being convinced that while 
all these subjects are but too little attended to, and 
their value too imperfectly known, that of exercise 
demands particular regard, on account of its re- 
markable effects on health and longevity. To all 
invalids it is a subject of the highest moment. None 
will accuse me of undervaluing the advantages re- 
sulting from attention to diet, in the cure of dis- 
ease; but it is proper for me to state, that there ap- 
pears to me one grand point of superiority which 
exercise in the open air possesses, in this respect, 
over even diet, which is, that it is capable of exert- 


ing a direct and positive curative effect, while the 
effects of diet, in the same circumstances, are rather 
negative than positive. In using proper food, when 
afflicted with any corporeal malady, we cut off a 
principal source of irritation, take an effectual means 
of nourishing and strengthening the body, and 
thereby of assisting nature in its efforts to free the 
constitution from an unwelcome and oppressive 
visiter; but beyond this the virtues of suitable food 
can scarcely be said to extend. On the other hand, 
exercise has often a direct and powerfully curative 
effect, from its accelerating and equalizing the cir- 
culation, when tardy and irregular, from its also 
strengthening the vessels and nerves, facilitating 
the excretions, and greatly improving the tone of 
the digestive organs. From a consideration of 
these facts, we see the reason why a correct diet 
should often fail to do little more than preserve the 
patient from getting worse, and that an efficient 
regimen is found absolutely necessary to produce 
much positive amendment, or to perform a sound 
and lasting cure. To illustrate this subject still 
further, we may advert to the case of a person -suf- 
fering under a severe chronic gout, or an aggrava- 
ted attack of indigestion, and we shall often find, 
that if such patients attentively observe a suitable- 
diet, they gain much advantage; but if they go lit- 
tle beyond this attention to diet, supposing it is 
even combined with skilful medical treatment, the 
gouty man, in numerous instances, is still very lia* 
ble to frequent fits of his tormenting disease, and 
will not unfrequently find himself getting more 
feeble, and the fits to gain an increasing power over 
him, while the dyspeptic experiences weakness of 
stomach, and general debility remaining, with a 
liability to a renewal of his disorder, on the opera- 
tion of slight causes. But should these patients be- 


come convinced of the value of regimen, in the 
sense now attached to it, and enter into its adoption 
with spirit and perseverance, they very soon dis- 
cover, that they are using means which have a su- 
perior and remarkable power in resolving obstruc- 
tions, and in so facilitating and regulating all the 
secretions, and imparting an increase of tone to 
every function of the body, as to afford them a 
most flattering prospect of being at length enabled 
entirely to conquer their disease. Under the ope- 
ration of this regimen, the gouty sufferer finds his 
crippled limbs to become free and strong, his di- 
gestive powers to be augmented, and his spirits 
surprisingly exhilarated; and the dyspeptic,* bilious 
subject experiences an equally beneficial change in 
the increased tone of the stomach and bowels, in 
the more healthy secretion of bile, the keenness of 
his appetite, and the greater quantity of food he 
can take, not only with a relish, but without the 
uneasiness he before felt severely, from indulging 
in a much smaller quantity: effects which both 
have found diet and medicine could only partially 

A great deal is now said about diet, and also re- 
specting the efficacy of particular medicines, in the 
cure of indigestion, liver complaints, tic doulou- 
reux, gout, derangement of the general health, and 
numerous other chronic maladies, and much of 
what is advanced on these subjects by many dis- 
tinguished men is' just; but I cannot do otherwise 
than insist on the superior power of regimen in 
ihese cases, the value of which is but half appre- 
hended, especially in the treatment of the more se- 
vere and protracted examples of such affections. In 
the latter instances, I mean the protracted cases, 

* Dyspepsia means indigestion. 

REGIMEN. ' 97 

how often do we find the best medicines to afford no 
more than a slight and temporary benefit, and diet 
also to be attended with little positive good; in 
such examples, all the secretions are evidently 
much deranged, and the energies of the frame 
greatly depressed and enfeebled. Here I have no 
hesitation in saying, that regimen will often sur- 
prise the patient by its admirable effects; and it 
will be admitted, that means which exert so salu- 
tary and permanent an influence on the severest 
cases of chronic disease, many of which were con- 
sidered desperate, and where both medicine and 
diet manifested a very limited power, must be 
likewise of uncommon use in those instances of 
such diseases as are less severe and intractible. 
Very many patients are long and anxiously seek- 
ing relief from medicine and diet in vain, because 
they are seeking it where it is not to be found. 

These observations refer to the effects of regimen 
in the cure of disease; but if we consider its power 
in the preservation of health and strength, and the 
prevention of disorder, we shall see that it is there 
no less certain and remarkable. Every one ac- 
quainted with the subject, must have been struck 
with the surprising difference existing between the 
present inhabitants of this nation, and those of the 
last and preceding centuries, in point of strength 
of body, and freedom from that irritability of con- 
stitution which so manifestly paves the way for an 
attack of disease, under the incidental operation of 
any deleterious agent. And to what, it may be 
asked, can this difference be owing, but to our 
more luxurious and sedentary habits? It cannot 
be correctly said, that we eat and drink more than 
our forefathers, and that thence arises the unparal- 
leled multiplication of disease; because the old 
English ate and drank very plentifully, perhaps 

98 " REGIMEN. 

even much more than we do in the present day; 
but we take much less active exercise than they 
did, we indulge much less in the salubrious and 
invigorating influences of the open air, and retire 
later at night, and rise later in the morning. These 
are the grand reasons why almost every one we 
meet now, is complaining of indigestion; in other 
words, of weakness of stomach, and, consequently, 
of general weakness; and why all those painful and 
alarming maladies which have their foundation in 
debility, as, nervous disorder, tic douloureux, scro- 
fula, water in the head, croup, &c. &c. have re- 
cently become so widely spread. * 

In point of diet, the old English ate and drank 
largely of strong, nourishing food, and with impu- 
nity; because the strength imparted by exercise, 
air, and sleep, enabled them to do so; but now peo- 
ple are so careful to have their doors, windows, 
and carriages air-tight, and so fearful of taking too 
much exercise, that in numberless instances they 
are obliged to be satisfied, at dinner, with a small 
piece of lean mutton and a biscuit, or something 
equally simple, or suffer under a fit of indigestion; 
and, in many cases, the substantial meal is neces- 
sarily softened down even to water gruel I This is 
a most unnatural state. 

The inference to be drawn from the preceding 
facts is, that regimen, of which exercise is the chief 
branch, is of pre-eminent importance in the cure 

* " It was a rare thing-, in the early part of my hie, to see 
many cases of disease produced by increased vascular action, 
which are now common; and so it is with disease depending 
on undue nervous action in a part; for I do not think there 
was such a thing as tie doulovreux ever dreamt of in my earlv 
days. How this comes I don't know. There has been a great 
increase of medical men, it is true, of late years, but, upon my 
life, diseases have increased in proportion." Abernethv's Sur- 
gical Lectures. 

AIR. 99 

and prevention of all diseases of a chronic charac- 
ter, and in the augmentation of strength, and the 
prolongation of life. 



It is a well known fact, that though men have 
lived without food even for several days, they can 
hardly exist for a few moments without breathing 
atmospheric air; which is a sufficient proof of its 
vast importance both to life and health. 

Breathing pure atmospheric air restores the flo- 
rid colour and stimulus of the blood, the pabulum 
of life; it consequently renders the blood fitter to 
repair some of the most essential parts of the body: 
it is a chief means by which the body is kept at 
nearly the same standard of heat or temperature; 
it aids also the circulation of the blood; and it ena- 
bles the body to get rid of some substances de- 
structive to health and life. 

The food we eat, after being subjected to various 
operations, is at last converted into a soft milky 
juice, technically called chyle. This is absorbed 
in the small intestines, and in the course of its cir- 
culation passes through the lungs, and comes in 
contact with the atmospheric air, which is drawn 
in by those organs in the act of respiration. It ap- 
pears evident, that from that contact it receives, 
from the oxygenous part of the air, the red or flo- 
rid colour by which blood is distinguished when 
arterial; in other words,, when it is fit for the pur- 
poses of life.* 

* It is not proper to say that the hlood receives any thing 
from the air, as this has not yet been satisfactorily proved j 

100 AIR. 

Part of the air we inspire also combines with the 
blood, and it is supposed, that the combined heat, 
to which its gaseous form was owing, is thus set 
at liberty, and is partly absorbed by the lungs 
during respiration, and thus diffused through the 
entire system, by means of the blood. Were it not 
for this constant absorption of heat, the tempera- 
ture of man, and of other animals, could never be 
so much higher than that of the surrounding atmos- 
phere, notwithstanding the heat which they are 
continually giving out to the colder surrounding 

Respiration of pure air is also one means by 
which noxious or useless matter is expelled from 
the body. By the lungs, a quantity of about thirty- 
seven ounces of carbonic acid gas, is usually emit- 
ted in the course of the day, by a full grown per- 
son; a quantity, which, if retained in the body, 
would be extremely prejudicial. By the same 
means, some of the superfluous moisture is extract- 
ed from the blood, and emitted. The quantity 
must vary; but amounts to several ounces a day. 
The blood is thus kept of a proper consistency, 

From these facts we see the importance of res- 
piration, and it will not be wondered at, that the 
air, according to its different qualities, can alter, 
and either greatly improve, or entirely vitiate, 
the whole texture of the blood, and the nature of 
the animal juices. The reason of fresh air being ne- 
cessary is, that where oxygen is exhausted, no animal 
can live at all, nor for any considerable time, where 
it exists in too small a proportion; and when un- 
wholesome gases are combined with it, disease al- 
ways, and often death ensues. Fresh air, there- 
fore, is found as necessary for man, as clear water 

but it purts with its carbon, to which the dark colour of ve- 
nous blood is owing'. 

AIR. 101 

is to fishes; and thence the choiee of good air is 
accounted, by all professional men, a circumstance 
of great moment in the regimen of health; indeed, 
it is proved to be so by a multitude of facts. In 
London, one half of the children born there, die 
before they reach their second year, owing prin- 
cipally to the impurity of the air. In the lying- 
in hospital at Dublin, the proportion was at one 
time found to be still greater; for, in the space of 
four years, ending in 1784, no less a number than 
2944 infants, out of 7650, died within the first fort- 
night after their birth. It was fortunately disco- 
vered that this melancholy circumstance arose from 
their not having a sufficient quantity of good air 
to breathe. The hospital was therefore completely 
ventilated; and the consequence was, that the pro- 
portion of deaths was reduced to 279.* Hence 
there was reason to suppose that out of 2944, who 
had died in the space of four years before, no less 
a number than 2655 had perished solely from the 
want of a due supply of air. 

These circumstances merit the attention of all 
persons, and especially of those who live in crowd- 
ed cities, and those who are much accustomed to 
frequent assemblies, and other places of public re- 
sort. It is calculated that every individual con- 
sumes about five cubic feet of air in an hour, or in 
other words, deprives such a quantity of air of its 
oxygen, or vital principle. If a hundred persons, 
therefore, were confined in a room, 30 feet long, 
25 broad, and 30 high, the whole air in that apart- 
ment, consisting of 22500 cubic feet, unless renew- 
ed, would be rendered noxious in about four hours 
and a half,t and the same scene would take place 

* Thornton's Philosophy of Medicine, vol. 1. p. 334. 
f By an experiment of the celebrated Hales, a gallon of air 
is spoiled by the steam of the breath in one minute, so as to 

102 AIR. 

which was exhibited in the black hole of Calcutta, 
where, out of one hundred and forty-six English- 
men confined for scarcely twelve hours, only twen- 
ty-three survived. This shows us why crowded 
rooms, where routs and other assemblies are held, 
should be so pernicious to the health of those who 
frequent them; and why they should so largely con- 
tribute to the production of that nervous irritability 
now so common among ladies of fashion. For be- 
sides the destruction of oxygen, and the great in- 
crease of carbonic acid, that perspiration which is 
expelled as a nuisance by one individual, must ne- 
cessarily be injurious to others.* 

The celebrated Lavoisier found, at a theatrical 
entertainment, that before the play began, the air 
contained the following proportion of its usual sub- 

Oxygen 27 

Azote 73 

Total 100 

But towards the conclusion of the piece, the air 
of the place was as follows: — 

Oxygen 21 

Azote 76§ 

Carbonic acid, or fixed air 2\ 

Total 100 

Hence the oxygen, or vital air, was diminished 
in the proportion of, from 27 to 21, or nearly one 

be unfit for respiration ; hence a hogshead, or sixty-three gal- 
lons, would hardly supply a human creature for an hour. 

* The lights also consume a large quantity of oxygen, and 
of course assist in rendering the air unfit for the purposes of 

AIR. 103 

fourth in the spacious area of a theatre, and in the 
same proportion was less fit for respiration than be- 
fore, besides having a considerable quantity of car- 
bonic acid accumulated in it. 

These remarks will, I hope, make my readers 
fully sensible of the importance of a free and con- 
tinued ventilation in their houses and apartments. 

As it respects respiration abroad, it is essential 
for every one to breathe the fresh air at least once 
a day, for two hours. This is an indispensible law 
of health and longevity, and in saying for two hours, 
I state the lowest possible time that the fresh air 
can be indulged in, by all those who wish to live 
long and comfortably. I know some persons live 
many years, even in large cities, who do not, on 
an average, breathe the fresh air for half that time 
daily. But how do they live? certainly not in 
health and strength ; but enervated in mind and bo- 
dy, frequently complaining, and continually op- 
pressed with lassitude, weariness and depression 
of spirits. The inhabitants of a town or city, in 
particular, ought not to suffer any day to pass over, 
without enjoying the pure open air, beyond its 
boundaries. A walk or ride for that purpose, ought 
lo be considered, not merely as the means of exer- 
cise, but of special importance, for procuring the 
enjoyment of the purest vital nourishment, which, 
ubore all, is indispensably necessary to those who 
are nfuch confined to their houses. 

A daily exposure to the outward adr, is abso- 
lutely necessary to secure us against the injurious 
influence of our variable climate. Too much sen- 
sibility in regard to all the impressions and varia- 
tions of the weather, is one of the greatest evils 
which at present afflicts the inhabitants of Great 
Britain, because it is one of the most abundant 
sources of disease. Those who are constantly in 

104 AIR. 

the open air, disregard both cold and heat, and are 
but little affected even by wet; whereas those who 
are but little in the air, sensibly feel all changes in 
the weather, and every exposure to extraordinary 
cold, or a little wet or damp, is apt to check their 
perspiration, already deficient, and to occasion 
cough, cold in the head, and general indisposition; 
and in how many instances this morbid susceptibi- 
lity of the surface of the body, paves the way for a fa- 
tal attack of inflammation of the lungs, or consump- 
tion, is too well known to require any comment. 

It is for these reasons, that the modern practice 
of retiring to a country house every evening, 
which is pursued by many respectable families, 
whose occupations are carried on in London, or 
other populous cities, is a most excellent one, and 
such as all who are similarly situated, and have the 
means, should adopt. Some think this too expen- 
sive a plan, but I can assure them that what they 
thereby lose in pocket, they will more than gain in 
comfortable feeling. Indeed, if we consider how 
greatly a free exposure to country air conduces 
to health, and how certainly constant residence in 
large cities, and particularly in London, tends to 
shorten life, it may with great propriety be ques- 
tioned, whether the plan now advocated does not, 
in the end, prove even the most economical. Dr. 
Garnett has correctly remarked, that going a s^hort 
time to breathe the pure air of the country, .every 
day, is much more effectual than spending whole 
days, or even weeks, in the country, and then 
returning into the corrupt atmosphere of the town, 
and residing constantly in it 

The valetudinarian, however, should be careful 
not to go abroad either too late or too early. In 
the winter, after eight in the morning, and be- 
fore five in the afternoon, is the best time; in the 

AIR. 105 

summer after six or seven, and before seven or 
eight. Night air is very unwholesome, and often 
about sun-set it is particularly injurious, on ac- 
count of a greater quantity of dew falling at that 
time, than even at midnight. In hot countries, 
those who wish to prolong their lives cannot too 
sedulously avoid the night air. In the vicinity of 
marsh lands, in warm climates, the evening air also 
is exceedingly noxious. Both in warm and tem- 
perate climes, it is a very mistaken notion to sup- 
pose, that it is better to travel late in the evening, 
or in the night, during the hot weather, than in the 
day. I shall relate a striking proof of the pernicious 
effects of such a practice, under the section on sleep. 
Infants and young children are peculiarly sensi- 
ble of the deleterious impressions of confined air. 
It has been observed, that if^hey are inured to the 
outward air, and accustomed to a great simplicity 
of diet, they are found to be little more sensible to 
the injuries of the weather than young cattle. All 
school-rooms and nurseries should be spacious, and 
well-ventilated throughout the day. Parents ought 
not to suffer a fire in the nursery when it can pos- 
sibly be avoided, and whether there be a fire or not 
in it, it is an excellent practice to have the windows 
fully open during the greater part of the day. * Chil- 

*In our cold climate it would not do, to dispense with fires 
in the nursery or to have the windows fully open during- the 
greater part of the day in winter, but the air should be changed 
every morning by opening all the doors and windows, at which 
time the children should be sent into another room. We may 
here remark tliat a nursery should be spacious, with a dry- 
high ceiling, and if possible should consist of two rooms, so 
that the children may retire into one, while the other is venti- 
lating and cleaning. In winter it should be warmed by fire in 
an open fire place, or grate, and not by a stove. 

For many interesting remarks on this subject, see Dr. De- 
wees' excellent Treutsse on the Physical Treatmeut of Chil- 
dren, which should be read by every mother. 

106 AIR. 

dren are not to be kept warm by fires and close 
apartments, but by exercise and clothing. 

To cover children's faces when they are asleep, 
is a very bad custom, for they are thereby deprived 
of fresh air. 

In sickness, a constant supply of fresh air is ex- 
tremely valuable. Whatever the nature of the com- 
plaint may be, and whether of an acute or chronic 
character, the patient's apartment should be spa- 
cious, and, in general, very freely ventilated. In 
all fevers it is of the first importance, and in pro- 
tracted chronic maladies will be found a powerful 
auxiliary to the other means used for the patient's 
restoration. In its absence, all other cordials often 
have but a very partial effect. 

A valuable discovery has been lately made, in 
the art of improving the atmosphere of sick cham- 
bers, by M. Labarraque, an able chemist in Paris. 
This discovery consists of two chemical substances, 
the chlorurets of sodium and of lime, which have 
a remarkable power in destroying all noxious efflu- 
via, and effectually purifying the most filthy and in- 
fected places. * They are used for these purposes, 
with equal economy, facility, and success, and as 
M. Labarraque's experiments with them have been 
of the most public and decisive nature, and were 
carried on under the immediate superintendence of 
several of the most distinguished physicians, sur- 
geons, and chemists in Paris, we are authorized to 
conclude, that no doubt exists as to the power of 

* A corpse in full putrefaction for three clays, and exhaling 
-it forty paces around it the most fetid odour, has been in- 
stantly disinfected, and all unpleasant smell removed by 
\he solution of the chloruret of lime. This was under the 
burning sky of St. Domingo, where putrefaction advances 
with prodigious rapidity, and is accompanied with the most in- 
tolerable stench. I mention it as a striking proof of the in- 
estimable value of these substances. 

AIR. 107 

these chlorurets in purifying all places both from 
stench and infection; being not only very far su- 
perior to anything ever before employed, but like- 
wise perfectly successful, when united with proper 
ventilation. I have, therefore, great pleasure in 
possessing this opportunity of recommending the 
chlorurets of sodium and of lime to the notice of 
the public, being fully convinced they will be 
found in numerous instances, of inestimable service 
to all families. These chlorurets are distinct prepa- 
rations, but are of equal efficacy. In using the con- 
centrated solution of chloruret of sodium for the 
purification of sick rooms, one part is added to 
about thirty parts of water, with which mixture the 
room is to be freely sprinkled as often as is neces- 
sary to its complete purification. In my opinion, 
no large family should ever be without one of these 
most valuable substances. They may be got, I pre- 
sume, at most operative chemists. * Mr. Garden, 
372, Oxford Street, prepares them in a very correct 

In respect to the relative advantages of town and 
country, in point of salubrity, the following table 
will afford correct information. It shows the pro- 
portion of people who die annually in great towns, 
in moderate towns, and in the country. 

1 . In great towns, from T ^ or -^ to J T or ■£% . 

2. In moderate towns, from ^ T to £§. 

3. In small villages, and the open country, from 

■h or is to s\ or ,V 

Thus we may with truth affirm, that in London 
one person in twenty of the whole population dies 
annually; while, in the healthiest villages and open 

* They may be obtained at Mr. S. P. Griffiths, corner of 
Chesnutand Eighth streets ; of Mr. E. Durand, corner of'Ches- 
but and Sixth streets, Philadelphia, and most Apothecaries. 

i08 AIR. 

country, the rate of annual mortality is not more 
than one in fifty-five or sixty.* This is a pi .U 
accurate calculation, and demonstrates the va 
periority which the country possesses in promoting 
health and longevity. 

From these facts we may, I think, fully concur 
in the truth of the remark, that large towns are 
the graves of the human species. Some persons 
seem disposed to doubt this, and observe that many 
old people are found in populous cities, and that 
people in general appear to live long, and in pretty 
;Tood health in London, and other large c; ies, as 
well as in the country; but the number of aged per- 
sons in such situations is comparatively very small, 
and in judging of the health and strength of their 
inhabitants, the casual spectator is liable to great 
deception. Those who investigate the subject close- 
*-- -~o,Uhr fi n *l a vast and unexpected difference in 

xy , iv«. — ~ v .* j. . , ._ „4.„ + ,^ 

every respect, and fully equal to wnat is Sc^C. 
above. In point of health, it is well known that 
the constitutions of the mass of citizens are weak, 
irritable, easily susceptible of diseased action, and 
when labouring under disease, far less able to strug- 
gle effectually with it, than those of people living 
in the country. Every enlightened medical man 
knows, that if, for example, an apparently strong 
and robust citizen meets with a severe accident, its 
course in general is far less regular and favourable 
than the same injury occurring to a country resi- 
dent: in the former, great constitutional irritation 
usually follows, and frequently convulsions and 
death; while in the latter, the irritation in the sys- 
tem is commonly inconsiderable, and the termina- 

* The annual mortality in Philadelphia, is about 1 in 48, in- 
cluding those of all colours ; 1 in 51 among the whites ; 1 in 19 
among the blacks. 

AIR. 109 

tion favourable. The Roman poet, therefore, justly 
exclaims against 

Pericula mille 

Ssevae ui'bis. 

A striking phenomenon in the economy of na- 
ture is, that the vegetation of plants continually 
counteracts the noxious effects of respiration, com- 
bustion, and putrefaction; and in this we see one 
grand reason why the country is more salubrious 
than the city. By the latter process, the vital air 
of the atmosphere is incessantly consumed, while 
a noxious gas is generated in its stead; but plants, 
during their growth, absorb and feed on the nox- 
ious vapours, and afford in its place pure vital air. 
The philosopher Ingenhouz found by experiment, 
1st. That most plants have the property of cor- 
recting bad air within a few hours, when they 
are exposed to the light of the sun; but that, on 
the contrary, during the night, they corrupt the 
common air of the atmosphere;* 2nd. That not 
all the parts of plants, but only the green stalks of 
leaves, particularly through the sides opposite to 
the soil, produce the former beneficial effect; 3rd. 
That the disengagement of pure or vital air does 
not commence until the sun has been some time 
above the horizon; ceases altogether with the 
termination of day-light; and that the disadvantage 
arising from the impure exhalation of plants, during 
the night, is far exceeded by the great advantage 
they afford during the day; insomuch, that the im- 
pure air, generated by a plant during the whole 
night, scarcely amounts to a hundredth part of the 
pure vital air, or oxygen, exhaled from the same 
plant in two hours of a serene day. 

* It will be perceived, that from these experiments we dis- 
cover pne cause why night air is prejudicial to health. 



Where villages are well situated, such is their su- 
periority in regard to health, that in all cases of ac- 
counts, the courts of law in England have deter- 
mined, that in a given number of persons at two 
places, namely, a country village or the metropolis, 
the duration of human life in the village ought to 
be computed at fifteen, compared to ten and a half 
in London. * 

I would remark, as a guide to the weakly and the 
invalid, that a place of residence calculated for 
health and longevity, should be, if possible, in a 
temperate climate; — in a situation moderately ele- 
vated; — if in Great Britain, with a southern expo- 
sure, — having a command of good soft water, — 
sheltered by a few trees, but not environed by many 
trees or woods; — with a dry soil; — in the vicinity 
of abundant fuel ; — with a somewhat moist, rather 
than a very dry atmosphere; — in an island, rather 
rhan on an extensive continent; — and either in a 
well planned village, or totally in the country. 

In regard to the salubrity of different places in 
this country, about which many invalids are pro- 
perly much concerned, I would remark, that it 
must ever depend, in a great measure, on the com- 
plaint under which they labour. The gouty, the 
dyspeptic, bilious, and nervous, &c. generally find 
an elevated, moderately cold situation the best; 
while the consumptive, and those subject to cough, 
absolutely require a very mild atmosphere, and, for 
the most part, a low situation. In diseases of the 
chest, situation is of the last importance. In my 
opinion, the best situation in Europe for consump- 
tive Englishmen, is Penzance, in Cornwall.! Those 

* These remarks on the unhealthiness of cities do not apply 
with as much force to those of the United States, as to those 
of Europe. 

f In the United States the best situations are perhaps the 
interior of Georgia, as at Augusta; or Florida. 

AIR. Ill 

consumptive patients residing in London, who can- 
not make it convenient to remove into Cornwall, 
will probably find the air of Wandsworth or Chel- 
sea* the best, in the immediate vicinity of the me- 
tropolis. The lowest parts of the former place ap- 
pear to me particularly eligible. All such persons 
must studiously avoid Islington, Hampstead, and 
Brixton. For the scrofulous and the dyspeptic, the 
air of Malvern is highly desirable. 

A common cold is so frequent a complaint in this 
kingdom, and is often attended with such serious 
effects, that, in closing this section, I shall give a 
few rules for avoiding it. It should be observed, 
that a cold is generally produced by the individual 
going from the external cold air, into the warm air 
of a heated room. When a person, in cold wea- 
ther, goes into the open air, every time he draws 
in his breath, the cold air passes through his nos- 
trils and windpipe into the lungs, and, consequent- 
ly, diminishes the heat of these parts. As long as 
the person continues in the cold air, he feels no bad. 
effects from it; but as soon as he returns home, he 
approaches the fire to warm himself, and very often 
takes some warm and comfortable drink, to keep 
out the cold, as it is said. Now this is the very 
way to fix a cold in the head and chest, because of 
the sudden transition effected in the temperature of 
the parts, by the incautious use of heat. The indi- 
vidual who follows this practice soon perceives a 
glow within his nostrils and breast, as well as over 
the whole surface of the body, which is succeeded 
by a disagreeable dryness and huskiness felt in the 
nostrils and breast. By and by a short, dry, tick- 
ling cough comes on; he feels a shivering, which 

* Many more take cold in going, when heated, from warm 
rooms, suddenly into the cold external air : it is in this way 
that so many females fall victims to consumption. 

112 AIR. 

makes him draw nearer to the fire, but all to no 
purpose; the more he tries to heat himself, the 
more he becomes chilled. 

It should, therefore, be a rule with every one, 
when they come out of a very cold atmosphere, 
never to go at first into a room that has a fire in it, 
or if they cannot avoid that, to keep for a consider- 
able time at the utmost distance from it, and, above 
all, to refrain from taking warm or strong liquors 
for some time. This rule is founded upon the same 
principle as the treatment of frost-bitten parts. If 
they were brought to the fire they would soon mor- 
tify, whereas, when they are first rubbed with 
snow, and brought to their natural heat gradually, 
no bad consequences follow. Hence, if the follow- 
ing rule were strictly observed, when the whole 
body, or any part of it is chilled, bring it to its 
natural feeling and warmth by degrees, the fre- 
quent colds experienced in winter would, in a great 
measure, be prevented. Those who are much sub- 
ject to colds are, for the most part, those who are 
weakly, and to such I would strongly recommend 
the diligent use of the flesh-brush to the neck and 
chest, hands and feet, twice a day, combined with 
much active exercise in the open air. Few indeed 
are the constitutions that these practices will not 
harden and fortify. 

When you are actually labouring under a cold, 
don't wrap up in flannel, nor otherwise keep your- 
self hot, nor drink much hot liquid, for this will 
inevitably make bad worse. It should be remem- 
bered that a cold is a slight fever, and, therefore, 
the proper treatment is, to indulge a little in a very 
moderately warm atmosphere, to live low and on 
food of a moderate temperature, and to keep the 
bowels open. Unless the atmosphere be damp, no 
one with a cold ought to keep within doors the 
whole of the day. 




" The wise, for cure, on exercise depend ; 
God never made his work for man to mend." 

Of all the means of preserving health, exercise 
is, perhaps, that which has hitherto had the least 
justice done to it, by the majority of medical wri- 
ters. Within the last few years, indeed, gymnas- 
tic exercises have come into frequent use, and 
most people are aware of some of the advantages 
of exercise, but the public at large are still far from 
having attained to any correct or adequate know- 
ledge of its uncommon power in preserving health, 
augmenting corporeal strength, improving the men- 
Lai iaciuues, as&utuug m. cubing ciiSSase, anu con- 
tributing to the prolongation of life. 

In regard to health, none of the various processes 
connected with the important function of digestion 
could be properly or adequately performed, unless 
the body were stimulated for that purpose by la- 
bour and exertion. The health of all the parts y 
and the soundness of their structure, depend on 
perpetual absorption, and perpetual renovation; 
and exercise, by promoting at once absorption and 
secretion, invigorates life, without hurrying it j 
renovates all the parts and organs, and preserves 
them apt and fit for every office they have to per- 
form. It also mainly contributes to the proper cir- 
culation of the blood, and ensures its imbibing the 
wholesome influences of the atmosphere, which 
form a principal source of our well-being. A brisk 
circulation animates the whole man; whereas de- 
ficient exercise, or continued rest, weakens the cir- 


culation, relaxes the muscles, diminishes the vital 
heat, checks perspiration, injures digestion, sick- 
ens the whole frame, and thereby introduces num- 
berless diseases. It should be remembered, that 
the heart is not of itself sufficient to give the blood 
due motion;* to accomplish this, muscular move- 
ment is likewise requisite. There is not a single 
part of the human machine, which a sedentary- 
mode of life does not debilitate. How wisely then 
did the illustrious Cyrus act, when he established 
it as a rule among the Persians, that they should 
never eat but after labour. 

Addison's description of the human system, is a 
correct and striking one, although not conveyed 
in such terms as a modern physician would em- 

" I consider the body, (says he,) as a system of 
lubes and glands, or, to use a more rustic phrase, a 
bundle of pipes and strainers, fitted to one another 
after so wonderful a manner as to make a proper 
engine for the soul to work with. This descrip- 
tion does not only comprehend the bowels, bones, 
tendons, veins, nerves, and arteries, but every 
muscle and every ligature, which is a composition 
of fibres, that are so many imperceptible tubes or 
pipes interwoven on all sides with invisible glands, 
or strainers. This general idea of an animal body, 
without considering it in its niceties of anatomy. 

* One mode in which exercise acts in promoting a free 
circulation, may be recognized from a consideration of the fol- 
lowing fact : — « In the larger veins, which are so situated as 
to be subjected to frequent pressure in the different motions of 
the body, there are valves which allow the blood to pass to- 
wards the heart, but not in the opposite direction, by which 
in our various exercises the rapidity of the circulation, and 
thus for the time, our powers are increased." Philip on the 
Vital Functions. 


lets us see how absolutely necessary exercise is for 
the right preservation of it. There must be fre- 
quent motions and agitations, to mix. digest, and 
separate the juices contained in it, as well as to clear 
and cleanse the infinitude of pipes and strainers of 
which it is composed, and to give their solid parts 
a more firm and lasting tone."* 

Not only is the healthiness of the body thus pre- 
served, but it acquires that strength which is so es- 
sential for enabling it to perform the toils which it 
must undergo, if we are willing to do our duty, 
and fulfil the purposes for which we were created. 
Hence it is, that those persons whose occupations 
carry them daily abroad into the open air, and im- 
pose on them a necessity for active corporeal exer- 
tion, are not only the healthiest, but, in general, 
the strongest individuals in the community. The 
power of exercise in augmenting the strength, is 
illustrated in a striking manner by its effects on 
those particular parts of the body, which are most 
used; for they, however weakly before, become, 
in process of time, thick, strong, and fit to perform 
the labour required of them. For example, the 
legs of a runner, the lungs of a singer, and the 
arms of a waterman, are generally stronger than 
others, because they have habitually used them for 
years. The constant and plentiful influx of the 
blood and spirits into them, makes them more rea- 
dily admit these supplies, so that the channels of 
both the vessels and muscles, are become larger 
and more elastic, and consequently stronger. That 
exercise, therefore, which is the most universal, 
will, of course, be preferred, as the most likely to 
make us strong. 

• Spectator, No. 115. 


The effects of exercise upon the faculties of the 
mind, are also of much importance. It keeps the 
understanding clear, the imagination untroubled, 
and the spirits in a state fit for the proper and most 
vigorous exertion of our intellectual powers. In- 
deed, since the stomach is cleansed by it, the di- 
gestion rendered better, the blood ameliorated, and 
every animal function improved, the necessary 
consequences are, that the attention becomes more 
ready, the perceptions more acute, and all the men- 
tal faculties not only brighter and more elevated, 
but preserved longer in old age. The mind, also, 
becomes more courageous, corporeal sufferings are 
borne with patience, a command of temper, and a 
presence of mind, are also acquired, and preserved 
undisturbed, amidst pain and danger. 

But by this means, disease may often be pre- 
vented, and not unfrequently cured, even when it 
has taken a very strong hold of the constitution. 
It has been justly observed, that if only some of 
the many advantages resulting from exercise, were 
to be procured by any one medicine, nothing in 
the world would be in more esteem, or more anx- 
iously sought after; but that we are far too apt to 
slight the advantages which are to be procured by 
other means than medicine, when they cannot be 
obtained without trouble. Hence exercise, to a. 
sufficient extent, is neglected, though, by attending 
to it, very many of those disorders, to which man- 
kind in general fall a sacrifice, might, in a great 
measure, be prevented, or when formed, cured. 

Generally speaking, a sedentary life is the source 
of all the diseases which physicians call cachectic 
or chronic, the number of which is considerable. 
Among these, scrofula, indigestion, bilious, and 
liver complaints, lowness of spirits, nervous irrita- 
bility, and pulmonary consumption, stand fore- 


most, and there may be added to them jaundice, 
growing out of the shoulder, and curved spine, 
palsy, apoplexy, &c. For these, exercise is one 
of the most effectual, as well as agreeable reme- 
dies: it strengthens the vessels, preserves the fluids 
in a healthy state, quickens the appetite, facilitates 
the excretions, invigorates the spirits, and excites 
pleasing sensations throughout the whole system. 

When the frame is suffering under either of 
these maladies, it is impossible to afford efficient 
relief by medicine alone. The cordials, volatiles, 
bracers, and tonics of the apothecary will keep up 
an increased circulation for a few hours; but their 
action soon subsides, the stimulus ceases, and they 
must be repeated and re-repeated during life. The 
circulation of the blood, indeed, can only be pro- 
perly carried on through the medium of exercise 
or labour. No art can ever come up to nature, in 
this most salutary of all her operations. That 
sprightly vigour and alacrity of health, which we 
feel and enjoy in an active course of life; that zest 
in appetite, and refreshment after eating, which 
sated luxury seeks in vain from art, is owing whol- 
ly to new blood, made every day from fresh food, 
prepared and distributed by the joint action of all 
the parts of the body. 

J have just remarked that exercise facilitates the 
excretions, and this is a very important advantage. 
It promotes a regular evacuation of the alvine dis- 
charge, increases the quantity of urine, ensures a 
free and genial perspiration, and thus makes the 
skin clear, smooth, and elastic, and materially as- 
sists in cleansing it from even the worst kinds of 
eruptions. I know a bilious subject, who never 
resorts to active exercise without finding his skin, 
from being rough and scaly, become immediately 
soft and smooth, and that after the use of those 


medicines which have the most remarkable effect 
in clearing it, have been proved to exert only a 
partial effect. It is clear that the blood must be 
not only duly circulated, but be freed from impu- 
rities: no medicine will do this, but it will be ef- 
fected by labour or exercise, under a coarse, and 
even an unwholesome diet. The old English cer- 
tainly were intemperate livers, but in those days, 
if a man or woman was obliged to go a little way, 
it was on foot; if to a greater distance, it was on 
horseback; and in both cases there was abundant 
exercise taken in the open air. The use of the 
bow and arrow, and the art of wielding the broad 
sword, and other violent and healthy exercises, 
were then necessary accomplishments for every 
person that ranked as a gentleman. By these airy 
and masculine exercises, says Dr. Smith, their di- 
gestive powers were strengthened, and those acrid 
humours were dissipated by perspiration; which, 
when retained in the blood, occasion -the gout, and 
various other disorders. 

In general, it may be stated, that a person of 
middle stature, and in perfect health, will perspire 
from three to four pounds' weight, or more, ac- 
cording to circumstances, within the space of twen- 
ty-four hours, under the use of proper exercise, but 
not else. Indeed, it appears from Dr. Robinson's 
experiments, that a greater proportion of excre- 
mentitious matter is daily discharged by the skin, 
than by stool and urine combined. Now, when 
there is a deficiency of exercise, a great part of this 
matter is retained in the body, and serves no other 
purpose but to corrupt the nutritious fluids, ob- 
struct its vessels, and oppress the whole man. 
Well, then, might the poet Armstrong say, — 

« While this eternal, this most copious waste 
Maintains its wonted measure, all the powers 


Of health befriend you, all the wheels of life 
With ease and pleasure move : but this restrain'd, 
Or more or less, so move or less you feel 
The functions labour : — from this fatal source 
What woes descend, is never to be sung." 

As it respects the cure of disease by exercise, 
many striking facts may easily be brought forward 
in proof of its efficacy. Cicero is described by 
Plutarch, as being, at one period of his life, ex- 
tremely lean and slender, and having such a weak- 
ness in his stomach that he could eat but little, 
and that not till late in the evening. He travelled 
to Athens, however, for the recovery of his health, 
where his body was so strengthened by gymnastic 
exercises, as to become firm and robust; and his 
voice, which had been harsh, was thoroughly 
formed, and was rendered full, sweet, and sono- 
rous. The same author informs us, that Julius 
Caesar was originally of a slender habit of body, 
had a soft and white skin, was troubled with pains 
in the head, and subject to epilepsy; but by conti- 
nual marches, coarse diet, and frequent lodging in 
the fields, he struggled against these diseases; and 
found the exercises and hardships of war the best 
medicine against these indispositions. 

Nothing can surpass, or even equal, the efficacy 
of exercise in nervous disorders, and I have long 
been persuaded, that it is the only thing which can 
afford much permanent benefit in the majority of 
cases of this most distressing class of diseases. That 
it will perfectly cure the generality of them there 
can be no doubt, while it will scarcely ever fail to 
relieve even those instances, in which the cause 
originally producing them still continues to ope- 
rate. As the labouring classes of the community 
are seldom afflicted with them, it is natural to sup- 
pose that a resolute course of exercise will be an 


effectual remedy. A gentleman oppressed by ner- 
vous disorders, which all the power of medicine 
could not remove, resolved to try the effects of a 
long journey on foot, for the benefit both of air 
and exercise, and before the end of his journey hi? 
complaints were totally removed. Mr. Abernetfiy 
is in the habit of saying, he knows no medicine? 
for nervous complaints, but air and exercise. 

In my opinion, the chief cause of indigestion, 
bilious and liver complaints, is a sedentary mode 
of living, which is now carried to a great extent 
by all classes of persons in Great Britain, who rise 
above the lower orders; and, consequently, exer- 
cise and exposure to the air will be found the most 
certain, speedy, and permament means of cure. 
Medicine, of course, will often be very useful in 
these complaints, as in most others, yet I cannol 
but consider it as of inferior value when compared 
to exercise. I know, from a good deal of experi- 
ence, that no medicine, however valuable, will 
ever succeed in any severe case without, the aid of 
this means. 

I am acquainted with one very bilious subject, 
in particular, who has proved active exercise to be 
his most effectual remedy. This gentleman was foi 
several years troubled with much disorder in the 
digestive organs, and at last with attacks of defi- 
cient appetite, general languor, lowness of spirits, 
head-ache, and vomiting, so frequently repeated as 
to become not only highly distressing, but alarm- 
ing. Medicine, judiciously prescribed, often did 
him a great deal of present good, but it has fre- 
quently failed to be of much service, and he now 
finds himself in a certain way of strengthening his 
stomach and nervous system, and thus ensuring a 
hearty appetite, perfect digestion, healthy secretion 
of bile; in short, a freedom from all his old symp- 


toms, by daily exercise in the open air. * He calls 
exercise his stomachic. 

All glandular obstructions are much more fre- 
quent now than formerly; this is chiefly owing to 
inactivity, and therefore exercise will both prevent 
and cure them. It is well known that scrofula is 
much influenced by exercise and friction. That 
very able surgeon, Sir Astley Cooper, says, "Boys 
will take exercise, and thus are less liable to this 
complaint, whilst girls are not allowed, and, if pre- 
disposed to it, are almost always attacked by it." 

Again, if we refer to the effects of exercise in 
consumption, curved spine, and palsy, we shall 
find them of the most decisive and salutary nature. 

Many, who have not examined the subject would 
hardly suppose that it could be attended w T ith any 
great advantage in consumption; but when we con- 
sider that this is a disease of debility, that it is in 
fact simple debility, however induced, which ge- 
nerally paves the way for its attack, and that it is 
most effectually prevented, in those constitutional- 
ly disposed to it, by such means as maintain and 
augment the general energy of the frame, — we 
shall readily perceive how extremely valuable ex- 
ercise is likely to prove in this wide-spreading ma- 
lady, because it is one of the most powerful me- 
thods by. which to increase our strength, and to 
restore all the secretions. Another reason why 

* A recent author, distinguished in the profession, observes, 
■ ' By a systematic exertion of" the body, with very spare diet, 
most cases of indigestion might be completely cured." And 
he adds, " I would recommend some of my fair countrywo- 
men, who have leisure as well as means, to improve the Ian- 
guid state of their circulation, and the delicacy of their com- 
plexions, by a system of exercise in the open air, which will 
give colour to their cheeks, firmness to their muscles, tone to 
their nerves, and energy to their minds." Dr. Johnson on Mor- 
bid Sensibility of the Stomach. 



exercise is attended with such excellent effects in 
consumption, is from its promoting the healthy 
functions of the skin; for between the skin and the 
lungs we know there exists so intimate a consent 
or sympathy, that when the secretion from the for- 
mer is free and copious, the latter organs are al- 
ways much relieved; whereas, when the perspira- 
tion is in any degree checked, the lungs have 
proportionately more work to do, and are, conse- 
quently, oppressed and irritated. It is observed, 
that in training both men and horses, (during which 
process they take a vast deal of exercise,) scarcely 
any part of the body improves in its condition more, 
than the skin, which becomes clear, smooth, well- 
toloured, and elastic. 

Constant travelling has often been found of sig- 
nal service in consumption, and the patients who 
have derived benefit from such exercise and change, 
but as yet short of a cure, have uniformly become 
worse whenever they remained more than a day 
or two at a place. It is also remarkable, that con- 
sumptive persons, who have been reduced to a 
state of extreme weakness by their disease, can al- 
most always bear travelling for several stages daily, 
without the least inconvenience, indeed they find 
themselves the better for it. 

The celebrated Sydenham used to recommend 
horse exercise even in confirmed consumption, and 
asserts that it has often given relief in a manner al- 
most incredible. He says, " Several of my rela- 
tions have been cured by riding long journies by 
my advice. How desperate soever a consumption 
may, or is esteemed to be, yet I solemnly affirm, 
that riding is as effectual a remedy in this disor- 
der,* as bark in ague; provided the patient be care- 

* Some physicians seem to doubt whether consumption, 
vhen truly formed, is ever cured, but this is to disregard the 


i'ul to have his sheets well aired, and take suffi- 
ciently long journies. But it must be observed, 
that such as are past the prime of life, must continue 
the use of riding much longer than such as are not 
yet arrived at that age; which I have learned from 
much experience, that scarcely ever failed me."* 
But as authentic cases will prove to my readers 
more instructive and impressive than simple ob- 
servation, I shall here insert an account of a very 
bad case of consumption, which was cured by ex- 
ercise, undertaken at the advice of Dr. Sydenham's 
son, who was also a physician. 


" The cure I am going to mention, was of a gen- 
tleman who is related to the Doctor, and is now 
living in Dorsetshire, who was brought so low by 

evidence of our senses, (which some pec-^re are not unwilling 
to do,) in a matter of fact. In my opinion, they may with as 
much propriety deny that indigestion, when fully formed, is 
'•arable. Notwithstanding the uncommon fatality of consump- 
tion, do we not happily see continually cases recover which had 
bcenby every one thought desperate, and that after hectic fever 
was clearly established? Can any man long in extensive prac- 
tice deny this, without disputing the reality of a matter of fact ? 
I think not. Supposing that ulceration has taken place in the 
lungs, why should it not heal there, under efficient treatment, 
its well as elsewhere? No good reason can be given why it 
should not ; and, indeed, we know it may. The following sen- 
timent of Mr. Abernethy on this point, may be acceptible to 
many of myjreaders. It is oddly expressed, and embraces only 
a limited view of the subject, but is, nevertheless, valuable. He 
-ays, " Can consumption be cured? bless me, that's a question 
.\ hich a man who had lived in a dissecting room would laugh at: 
how many people do you examine who have lungs tubercular, 
which are otherwise sound. What is consumption? It is (ulce- 
rated) tubercle of the lungs ; then, if those tubercles were heal- 
ed, and the lungs otherwise sound, the patient must get bet 
Anatondcal Lectures. 

'•Sydenham's Works, page 446. 


a consumption, that there seemed to be no possi- 
bility of a recovery, either by medicine, or exercise; 
but it being too late for the first to do any good, all 
that was to be done was to be expected from the 
latter, though the Doctor did not think that even 
riding would then do. However, the poor gen- 
tleman seeing there were no other hopes left, was 
resolved to attempt to ride into the country; but 
was so extremely far gone, that at his setting out 
of town, he was forced to be held up on his horse 
by two porters, and when he got to Brentford or 
Hounslow, the people of the inn into which he 
put, were unwilling to receive him, as thinking 
he would die there, and they should have the trou- 
ble of a funeral. Notwithstanding, he persisted in 
his riding by small journies to Exeter; and got so 
much strength by the way, that though one day his 
horse, as he was drinking, laid down with him in 
the water, and he was forced to ride part of the 
day's journey ifj l that wet condition, yet he sus- 
tained no harm by it, but came to the above-men- 
tioned place considerably recovered; when think- 
ing he had then gained his point, he neglected to 
ride any more for some time. But afterwards 
finding himself relapsing, he remembered the cau- 
tion which Dr. Sydenham had given him, at his 
setting out, that if he should be so happy as to be- 
gin to recover, he should not leave off riding too 
soon; for he would infallibly relapse and die, if he 
did not carry on that measure long enough; so he 
betook himself to his horse again, and rode till he 
obtained a perfect recovery."* 

Fuller relates the case of a physician, a Dr. Bay- 
nard, who, by constant riding in the open air, re- 
covered from a consumption, when every body gave 

* Fuller's Medicina Gymnastics, p 198. 


him over as lost. And a gentleman, whose son was 
troubled with pains in his left side, and seemed to 
be threatened with a consumption, if it had not ac- 
tually begun, thought that it might be owing to 
want of exercise, and prevailed on him to try the 
skipping rope. He continued it for about a twelve- 
month, when it became no longer necessary, as hi c 
health was perfectly re-established, and he was 
completely cured of all tendency to consumption. 

I would not quit the subject of consumption 
without offering a few remarks on the propriety 
of the patient's removal to a foreign climate, be^ 
cause I think it my duty to oppose this practice ai: 
every possible opportunity, from being perfectly 
convinced of its inefficiency and danger. In the 
earlier stages, it is unnecessary, because we have 
in our own country a spot which offers at least 
equal, and every thing considered perhaps supe- 
rior, advantages; and it is inefficient, since change 
of climate will not be attended with much benefit 
without constant exercise. In the latter periods, 
it is dangerous, as experience has fully proved that, 
under such a change, this disease then runs a more 
rapid, and a more certainly fatal course, than if the 
patient had remained in England. This is, in short, 
the sum of medical experience on the subject; and 
I have no doubt that a great majority of the most 
able physicians in this kingdom, will, on due con- 
sideration, fully agree in the truth of this state- 
ment. It is a most mistaken notion to suppose,, 
that the inhabitants of Madeira, Italy, the south oi 
France or Lisbon,* are nearly exempt from con- 

* I cannot consistently enlarge here on this subject, bat my 
readers should know, that the physicians of Italy and France 
acknowledge, that in a hundred deaths among the native in- 
habitants, there are twenty-five, at the least, by pulmonary 
consumption ; and that all the English physicians who have 


sumptive disorders: on the contrary, they are very 
liable to them, and it is a remarkable circumstance, 
that the duration of the disease, in those countries, 
does not exceed, in general, from three to six 
months, especially in Italy. I have said above, 
that we have a spot in our own country superior 
to any foreign station, this is Penzance, the tem- 
perature of which is exceedingly mild and equable; 
and I most earnestly recommend my consumptive 
readers, and more particularly my fair country-wo- 
man who suffer under that disease, never to listen 
to any recommendation that would lead them from 
their native shores, but to trust to Penzance air, 
exercise, and travelling, (with suitable medical 
treatment,) for the cure of their malady. These, 
I am persuaded, will often succeed, and if they do 
not, nothing will. Numbers of consumptive in- 
valids, in the more respectable classes of society, 
annually fall victims to the removal to a foreign cli- 
mate, who would have been saved by remaining at 
home, and resorting to the means just advised. 

Curvature of the spine, and growing out of the 
shoulder, are complaints which have very much 
increased of late years. We rarely meet with them 
among boys or young men, but they are frequent 
among girls and young women, especially in the 
more respectable and higher classes of society; and 
the most able of the profession universally agree, 
that debility is their chief cause, and exercise their 
only remedy. 

long practised in Madeira or Lisbon, dissuade us from sending 
patients thither. 

In respect to the propriety of sending- consumptive patients 
to Madeira, I would state a fact recorded by Dr. Itenton, a 
physician who resided there, lie says, that of forty-seven ot 
such patients sent to that island, thirty-two died within six 
months after their arrival ; six died on a second winter's trial 
of the climate ; six died alter returning to England, and the 
fate of the remaining three was uncertain ! 


A lateral curvature of the spine is, indeed, now 
become so common, as to prove a source of alarm 
to almost every respectable family where there are 
several daughters, and a cause of much anxiety and 
distress to many parents, at which we cannot be 
surprised, for distortion is a most serious evil to a 
young lady. That this complaint is, in a very 
great majority of instances, caused by deficient ex- 
ercise, is proved by several circumstances, and es- 
pecially by the fact, that we very seldom meet 
with it among the children of the poor, and that 
among the more respectable classes of society, it is 
almost entirely confined to the girls. * Parents are, 
of course, anxious to know, what can be the cause 
of this malady becoming so frequent, — we answer, 
it lies in the palpable and radical defects of the mo- 
dern system of physical education. The celebrated 
John Hunter used to say, twenty years ago, that 
children were made crooked by the means taken 
to make them strait; and so it is. In these cases, 
the subject of prevention is one of considerable mo- 
ment to every respectable family, because it is far 
more easy to prevent these evils than to cure them, 
and, therefore, I would observe, that the preven- 
tive means are plenty of pure air, active exercise, 
early rising, nourishing food, and a proper regula- 
tion of the bowels. Back-boards, stiff stays, and 
other means frequently employed to preserve and 
'.mprove the shape, are worse than useless, and ought 
never to be used. When girls are weakly, care 
should be taken not to fatigue- them in any seden- 
tary employment, in which they may be engaged, 

* " For fifty young ladies who become twisted between the 
igcs of eight and fourteen, there is not more than one poor girl 
similarly aifected. And for one hundred young ladies, who 
nre twisted there is not one young gentleman." Share or. 
Treatment of Spinal Distortions,-^. 2. 


as standing in classes during examination, sitting 
at the piano, &c; and they ought not to be kept in 
school more than for a very moderate period, at 
each time. It would be far better both for teachers 
and pupils, if the period of instruction never ex- 
tended beyond two hours at one time. Above all, 
active exercise in the open air is essential, to pre- 
serve the muscles and bones in that state of strength 
and vigour, which is the most effectual safe-guard 
against personal deformity of this description; for 
it must be evident to all, that if the bones possess 
due consolidation and firmness, and the muscles 
proper strength, the individual will grow up in a 
natural manner, and there will be no inclination of 
the body to either side; but if, on the contrary, 
the bones become soft, and the muscles debilitated, 
there will inevitably follow an undue inclination to 
that side which is the weakest, or to which the 
girl feels most disposed to yield, in order to gain 
the greatest ease. This inclination in the begin- 
ning, is, of course, partial and slight, but in the 
growth of the patient, it soon becomes fixed, per- 
manent, and often very considerable, and thus a 
marked deformity takes place. Parents should 
know and consider, that under a deficiency of ex- 
ercise, the bones, especially of children, invariably 
become soft and yielding, and that in endeavouring 
to impart solidity and strength to them, nothing 
can supply the place of exercise in the open air. 
It is well known that, the bones of a race horse 
during training, and those of a healthy labourer, 
pursuing his ordinary work, are as hard as ivory, 
but if either the animal or the man are much con- 
fined within doors, and deprived of proper exercise, 
their bones readily become soft. 

In regard to the cure of these affections, I be- 
lieve it to be fully ascertained, that regulated ex- 


orcise in the open air is the grand means of reco- 
very, and I have no douht it will perfectly cure 
the most- frightful spinal distortions, even after se- 
vere cough, emaciation, and excessive weakness, 
have been induced by the continuance of the dis- 
ease. Much will unquestionably depend on the 
proper regulation of the. exercise, and njany sur- 
geons have appeared to me to fail of success in the 
treatment of lateral curvature, because the exer- 
cise employed was not sufficient. It should never 
be of a violent kind, but gentle at first, afterwards 
free and active, being carried on for at least four 
hours a day, at proper intervals, and as much as 
possible in the open air. Nourishing food, cheer- 
ful society, and regulation of the bowels, with rest 
on a hard mattress when the individual is not ex- 
ercising, must also be afforded. As a proof of the 
great value of exercise in the cure of the pre- 
sent malady, I have transcribed the following case 
from Capt. Clias's observations on gymnastic ex- 
ercises: — 


•'Miss A. B., aged sixteen years, had been af- 
fected for several years with a distortion of the 
spine, from the right to the left side, with general 
weakness, particularly of the arms and chest; she 
was extremely pale and thin; her sleep much dis- 
turbed, and her appetite nearly gone. She had an 
obstinate cough; her voice was weak, and nearly 
inaudible. She had a continued pain in the left side, 
resulting from the pressure of stays, which she had 
worn for some months with the expectation of re- 
establishing the straight position of her back. Her 
head reclined upon her chest; and what are called 
the false ribs on the left side were bent one over 


the other, and forced inwards. In this condition 
the young lady was confided to my care, on the 22d 
of October, by a physician who had seen' and visi- 
ted her for some years. I may be allowed to say, 
that it was almost with repugnance that I engaged 
to employ my system of exercise in the case of a 
person who appeared to be nearly in a dying con- 
dition; but the entreaties of the relations, and the 
solicitations of the medical attendant, were so ur- 
gent, that I could not forbear making the trial. 
The table of exercises which I employed in this 
case, will give a just idea, to those persons who in- 
terest themselves in this practice, how far I de- 
served the confidence reposed in me. 

iC Table of the Gymnastic Exercises resorted to 
in this case, by which the reader will perceive 
the slow but gradual manner in which pa- 
tients, in such cases, proceed from slight exer- 
cises to those ivhich require greater strength 
and exertion. 

"1. To make prolonged inspirations, sitting. 
2. Prolonged inspirations, the patient standing, the 
arms fixed. 3. The same exercise, the arms hang- 
ing down. 4. The same, the arms extended hori- 
zontally. 5. The same, the arms fixed to a hori- 
zontal pole. 6. Deep inspiration, and counting a 
number without drawing the breath. 7. Move- 
ment of the feet on the ground, the patient sitting. 
8. Deep inspiration, the patient lying on the left 
side, and leaning on the elbow. 9. In the same 
position to raise and to lower the body. 10. Walk- 
ing slowly, and making deep inspirations. 11. 
Walking a little faster, and counting several steps 
without drawing breath. 12. Bending without ri- 
sing, the weak hand fixed above. 1 3. Beating time, 
with both hands fixed to the horizontal pole. 14. 


15. Beating time, bearing a weight in the weak 
hand. 16. 17. Lifting up a small box from the 
ground with both hands, and then with the weak 
hand. 18. 19. 20. To declaim without moving, 
and to sing without drawing breath. 21. 22. 23. 
24. Movements of balance simple, in front and on 
one side. 25. 26. 27. 28. Develop other motions 
of the arms, and to imitate the motion of sawing. 
29. 30. These exercises with the weak hand only. 
31. 32. To draw upon a spring with the weak 
hand only, and then with the arms and body fixed. 
33. Seated on the ground, to rise with the assist- 
ance of the arms, the feet fixed. 34. Lying down 
horizontally, to raise the body without the assist- 
ance of the arms. Other exertions of a similar 
kind, which it is not necessary to describe, follow 

"On the 27th of November, the cough having 
entirely ceased, and the progress of the patient giv- 
ing me reason to expect the happiest results, I be- 
gan to employ friction, during the exercise, on the 
diseased parts. At this time, I also took with her 
the first promenade, the weak arm supported, and 
afterwards in a carriage. On the 12th of Janu- 
ary, she was so much recovered, that she could 
without inconvenience resume her lessons in sing- 
ing, playing, and drawing, and walk several miles 
without fatigue. The cough and pain in the side 
iiad entirely ceased*; she had an appearance of health, 
and her spirits were good. All the animal func- 
tions were perfectly restored." 

I cannot but enter my protest in this place against 
the employment of instruments in lateral curvature 
of the spine. Chesher's Collar, Callam's Back, 
and other similar instruments, are worse than trash, 
because they serve to amuse the minds of patients, 


till, after experiencing their worthlessness, it is 
often too late to resort to better means. Indepen- 
dently of this, they too commonly prevent the in- 
dividual who wears them from taking proper exer- 
cise, which is alone an insuperable objection to 
their use. In short, these wretched expedients, 
like the windlasses, and other complicated instru- 
ments, used in France with the same views, serve no 
better purpose than to pay the maker. The prac- 
tice of laying patients down constantly on the back 
is another vile plan, apparently still resorted to by 
some medical men. 1 am happy to find that Sir 
Astley Cooper and Mr. Aber,nethy, most decidedly 
object to this method of treatment. There is now 
a physician in London, who, forsooth, confines hi? 
ill-fated patients on their backs, and stretches and 
pummels their spine, with the view to reduce a 
dislocated bone there, to which dislocation he says 
this lateral curvature is owing! It is my object to 
expose measures not men, but, in truth, an honest 
man can scarcely refrain from expressing his indig- 
nation, in plain terms, against the physician who 
can continue in the present enlightened times, to 
pursue so barbarous and so injurious a treatment. 
His patients may, indeed, be styled ill-fated, for if 
they place confidence in him long, they can hardly 
fail to be crooked for life. 

There are few diseases in which exercise, united 
with temperance, will produce more wonderful 
effects than in gout. The celebrated Dr. Cullen 
used to say, that they are in most instances a cer- 
tain remedy for this cruel disorder; and Sydenham, 
who is justly styled the modern Hippocrates, af- 
firms, that nothing so effectually prevents the indi- 
gestion of the humours, (which he considers to be 
the principal cause of the gout, and consequently 
strengthens so much the fluids and solids, as exer- 


cisc. But as there is more necessity for making a 
thorough change in the constitution in gout, than 
in most other chronic diseases, so exercise, unless 
it be used daily, will do no service, and perhaps 
may do mischief, by causing a fit, if resorted to 
after it has been abandoned for a considerable space 
of time. Indeed, if exercise be omitted, all the 
remedies which have hitherto been discovered, will 
be of little avail. Sydenham considered riding on 
horseback as the best sort of exercise; and, indeed, 
so advantageous in the gout, and other chronic dis- 
eases, that if any person, he observes, were master 
of so effectual a remedy, and possessed, at the same 
time the means of concealing it, he might easily 
raise a considerable fortune. In my opinion, long 
walks should be taken as well as long rides, by all 
gouty people, who are not advanced in years.* 
The following case exemplifies the beneficial influ- 
ence of exercise, in the cure of gout. It illustrates 
what I mean by sufficient active exercise. It is 
only now and then we meet with an invalid who 
takes enough exercise to cure his complaint, what- 
ever that may be. A little of it is always found 
beneficial, but it requires invariably a great deal, 
perfectly to overcome a severe and fixed disease: — 


A young man, at the age of twenty-five years, 
was of a most enormous corpulence of body. He 
was an only son, and very rich. He experienced 

* " The man who wishes to preserve himself from gout, must 
take bodily exercise. He must find out that kind of exercise 
which agrees with him, and checks his complaint ; and to this 
he must deliver himself up without reserve, fearing only one 
thing— that of exercising too little."— Dr. Johnson on Gout, p, 



an attack of gout, which frightened him so much, 
that he entered on the following regime of exer- 
cise. On Mondays, he plaid at tennis, for three or 
four hours in the forenoon; on Tuesdays, he devo- 
ted the same space to mall; on Wednesdays, he 
hunted; on Thursdays, he rode; on Fridays, he 
exercised at arms; on Saturdays, he walked to one 
of his country seats, three French leagues distant; 
and on Sundays, returned on foot again. The re- 
medy proved so successful, that at the end of 
eighteen months he was reduced to common di- 
mensions. He married; and continuing his exer- 
cises, got rid of all the humours with which he had 
been gorged. From a mis-shapen mass he became 
a well-made |and vigorous man, exempt from gout, 
and enjoying perfect health.* 

I ought not to omit to remark here, that exer- 
cise, particularly by riding on horseback, and fric- 
tion, is of essential service in chronic disease fixed in 
the abdomen, whether occurring in the mesenteric 
glands, or intestines; and I am persuaded, that many 
cases of this description are lost for want of this 
most salutary aid to the power of appropriate me- 
dicine. Of this class of maladies, are tumefaction 
of the mesenteric glands, severe protracted loose- 
ness of a chronic kind, frequent tormenting colic 
pains, &c.t The excellent effects of riding, in the 
cure of obstinate looseness, is exemplified in the 
following striking case. 

* Guilbert on Gout, p. 101. 

f 1 can very confidently recommend one of the pills, No. 3. 
(see the end of the volume,) taken every night, as a most ap- 
propriate and powerful auxiliary to horse exercise and friction 
in curing these internal diseases. Sometimes a quarter of a 
pint or more of compound decoction of sarsaparilla may like- 
wise be taken, twice a day, in addition to the pill, with in- 
creased advantage. 



" A clergyman, with whom I am acquainted, 
living in the country, happened some years ago to 
fall into a lingering diarrhoea, which hung upon him 
some years, and eluded the force of the best medi- 
cines of all sorts, and brought him so low, that he 
had no hopes of recovery left. When he was in this 
condition, a physician of the city advised him to 
try what riding on horseback would do; not a slight 
trial or two, but a close application to it; and his 
physician told me himself, that he charged him to 
keep to a brisk motion, enjoining withal a very 
strict diet, that if the disease should be checked by 
the exercise, it might not by any improper food, 
have occasion to break out again. He set upon this 
course in his own grounds, which are very large 
and spacious, and by these means was restored to 
perfect health again."* 

Sydenham speaks in the highest terms of the effi- 
cacy of exercise in bilious colic, and other com- 
plaints depending on abdominal obstruction. After 
describing the proper medicinal treatment of this 
protracted colic, he proceeds, " But if it should 
return upon omitting the opiate, as it sometimes 
happens, I have hitherto discovered nothing that 
will so certainly promote the cure, as taking long 
journeys on horseback, or in a coach, observing in 
the mean while to give an opiate every morning 
and evening. For by this kind of exercise the 
morbific matter is brought to the surface of the 
body, and the blood, broken and divided by the 
continual motion, does, as it were, undergo a new 
depuration, and at length the bowels are greatly 

* Fuller's Medicina Gymnastica, p. 189. 


strengthened and refreshed by this way of rousing 
the natural heat. Nor do I think it beneath me to 
own, that I have frequently cured this disease by 
this exercise, when all other means had failed 
me."* In continuing his remarks on the cure of 
this affection, this illustrious physician details a 
successful case, which I consider worthy of record 
here, both on account of its proving the value of 
the means employed, and exhibiting the amiable 
conduct of the narrator. 


" During these years, one of my poor neigh- 
bours, yet living, was seized with a most violent 
bilious colic, which he had long endeavoured in- 
effectually to relieve by cathartics, glisters, and 
swallowing leaden bullets. I had recourse here 
to the frequent use of opiates, nor did they prove 
unsuccessful, for he remained tolerably easy whilst 
he was taking them. But, perceiving they only 
palliated, and did not eradicate his disorder, for 
it returned immediately after the effect of the 

* The celebrated Dr. Iluxham strongly recommended horse 
exercise for the cure of" this malady. « Nothing, (says he,) 
strengthens the viscera and intestines more than riding on 
horseback, for by the -.cry different and frequent agitations of 
the body which this exercise occasions, it gently shakes all 
the parts of the lower belly, and by this means drives out all. 
viscidities contained in the bowels and blood vessels, and emi- 
nently promotes the circulation of the blood through the me- 
senteric vessels, and the ramifications of the great vein of the 
liver, where it circulates slow est. Moreover, it appears by nu- 
merous experiments, that perspiration is much increased by- 
riding ; whence it proves serviceable not only in this, but in 
most chronic diseases, by driving the noxious humours to ano- 
ther part, and expelling them by the pores. In reality, ri ling 
only has cured where tedious courses of medicine have failed j 
when, therefore, the patient can sit a horse, let him ride every 
tlay." Huxham Be Morb. Colic, page 38, 


opiate was gone off, I had compassion on the man, 
labouring under low circumstances, and a violent 
disease, and lent him a horse to ride a long jour- 
ney as above directed ; and after riding a few days, 
his bowels became so strong as to be able to expel 
the remains of the disease, and he recovered per- 
fectly by this means without the assistance of opi- 

It would occupy too large a portion of this small 
work for me to describe all the uses of exercise in 
the relief and cure of diseases; but I would observe, 
in concluding this part of the subject, that its bene- 
ficial effects in chronic rheumatism also are fully 
proved, at which we cannot be surprised, when we 
consider, that it has a manifest power in improving 
the general health, and promoting a free perspi- 
ration, and thus removing two of the principal 
causes of this disorder. Dr. Marcet relates, that a 
gentleman, after every other means had been tried 
in vain for the cure of an obstinate sciatica, re- 
solved to try the effects of sweating tvalks. . For 
that purpose, he got stockings, drawers, and shirts 
of fleecy hosiery, and applied eight thicknesses of 
flannel to the chief seat of the disorder, beside warm 
pantaloons and a great coat. The walk he took, 
thus equipped, was from one to two miles, accord- 
ing to the state of the weather. The consequence 
was a profuse perspiration. When he returned 
home, he had a couple of changes of well aired 
flannel, and then lay down upon a bed not warmed. 
He is convinced that exercise is greatly preferable 
to heated air, or hot water. His complaint was 
completely cured; his appetite increased; his ge- 
neral health improved; and he became less sensi- 
ble of cold, or variation of temperature, t 

* Sydenham's Works, page 192. 

t In dyspepsia or indigestion, and in hypochondriasis, exer- 


Having now, I trust, satisfactorily demonstrated 
the importance and utility of exercise in the pre- 
servation of health, and the prevention and cure of 
disease, and brought forward such facts as will in- 
duce my readers to resort to, and persevere in, the 
daily use of this most efficient and agreeable me- 
thod of securing health and long life, I shall advert 
to the different kinds and quantity of exercise, first 
transcribing a pleasant story in point, from Vol- 
taire: — "Ogul, (says Voltaire,) a voluptuary who 
could be managed with difficulty by his physician, 
on finding himself extremely ill from indolence 
and intemperance, requested advice: — ' Eat a Basi- 
lisk stewed in rose water,' replied the physician. 
In vain did the slaves search for a Basilisk, until 
they met with Zadig, who, approaching Ogul, ex- 
claimed, ' Behold that which thou desirest;' ' but 
my Lord,' continued he, 'it is not to be eaten; all 
its virtues must enter through thy pores, I have. 
therefore, enclosed it in a little ball, blown up, and 
covered with a fine skin; thou must strike this ball 
with all thy might, and I must strike it back again, 
for a considerable time, and by observing this re- 
gimen, and taking no other drink than rose water 
for a few days, thou wilt see and acknowledge the 
effect of my art. ' The first day Ogul was out of 
breath, and thought he should have died from fa- 
tigue; the second he was less fatigued, and slept 
better: in eight days he recovered all his strength. 
Zadig then said to him, * There is no such thing in 
nature as a Basilisk! but thou hast taken exercise 
and been temperate, and hast, therefore, reco- 
vered thy health. ' " 

cise is essential to a cure. With a properly regulated diet it 
will often entirely cure these complaints, while medicines 
alone will rarely afford any relief, 



Exercise is of various kinds, but I shall confine 
myself to a consideration of those which are the 
most useful, and the most readily employed, the 
principal of which are gymnastic exercises, ivalk- 
ing. riding, gestation, and friction. 

Gymnastic exercises were originally considered 
in a military point of view alone; but philosophers 
and physicians soon perceived, how conducive they 
were to health and strength; how many ailments 
vanished in the midst of those various and compli- 
cated movements which they rendered necessary, 
and what energy these motions imparted to the 
most important functions of the body. They ob- 
served, that- even convalescents, by adjusting the 
use of these exercises to their respective degrees of 
strength, recovered expeditiously even from a long 
and painful train of maladies. Hence, the gym- 
nastic art became an object of public attention, as 
an important branch in the education of youth, and 
as materially contributing to the preservation and 
to the perfection of the human race. 

Herodicus, who instructed Hippocrates himself 
in the art of physic, being master, we are told, of 
one of the Grecian palsestrse, or gymnasia, ob- 
served that the youths under his care, who took 
their proper exercises, were in general very healthy 
and strong; he thence began to attribute it to their 
constant exercising. Indulging this thought he be- 
gan to establish these exercises as a means of pre- 
serving or recovering health, and formed certain 
rules for that purpose, which have been lost for 
many ages. They were once, however, in great 
esteem; and Herodicus is to be accounted, if not 
the inventor, at least the first great improver of so 
useful an art. 


The ancients in general, had so high an opinion 
of gymnastics, that Plato and Aristotle, and other 
great authorities, considered a commonwealth as 
defective, in which they were neglected; and they 
reasoned thus: As the improvement of the mind, 
which ought to be our constant aim, cannot be ac- 
complished without the aid of the body, is it not 
incumbent on us to promote the health and strength 
of the body, that it may be capable of serving the 
mind, and of assisting, instead of impeding, its op- 
erations ? Hence, Plato, in Protagoras, calls him 
a cripple, who, cultivating his mind alone, suffer- 
ed his body to languish through inactivity and sloth. 

The most useful gymnastic exercises are leaping, 
throwing the discus, or quoit, playing with the 
foot-ball, and fencing. 

Leaping ranks among the first of the gymnastic 
exercises; it strengthens, and gives elasticity to the 
feet, legs, knees, thighs, and indeed the whole frame; 
it braces every muscle, invigorates the courage, im- 
proves the faculty of measuring distances by the 
eye, and gradually imparts such a command over 
the balance of the body, as tends greatly to secure us 
from all hazard of dangerous falls. The exercise of 
leaping among the ancients, was confined to dis- 
tance, but in modern times it has extended also to 
height. One Ireland, a native of Yorkshire, in the 
eighteenth year of his age, by a fair spring, with- 
out any assistance, trick, or deception, leaped over 
nine horses, standing side by side, and a man seat- 
ed on the middle horse! He also jumped over a 
garter, held fourteen feet high; and at another jump, 
he kicked a bladder, hanging at least sixteen feet 
from the ground.* This is a convincing proof 
.vhat amazing agility and strength constant exercise 
will impart. 

*Strutt's Plays and Pastimes, page 176. 


Throwing the discus, or quoit, was one of the 
principal gymnastic exercises practised among the 
ancients, and it is to be regretted that it has almost 
grown into entire disuse in our day, at least among 
gentlemen. It is well calculated to expand the 
chest, strengthen the back and arms, and to exercise 
effectually the whole of the superior portion of the 
body. The foot-ball is likewise a pastime worthy 
of attention, and may with great advantage be re- 
sorted to alternately with the throwing the discus, 
for as the latter exercises the superior extremities, 
the former gives energy and activity to the lower 

There is scarcely any gymnastic exercise, with 
a view to health, better entitled to the attention of 
those who are placed among the higher classes of 
society, than that of fencing. The positions of the 
body in fencing, have, for their objects, erectness, 
firmness, and balance; and in practising that art, 
the chest, neck, and shoulders, are placed in posi- 
tions most beneficial to health. The various mo- 
tions, also, of the arms and limbs, whilst the body 
maintains its erect position, enable the muscles in 
general to acquire both strength and tone; and in 
young people, the bones of the chest or thorax ne- 
cessarily become more enlarged, by means of which 
a consumptive tendency may be avoided. Vari- 
ous instances may be adduced, where fencing has 
prevented consumptions, and other disorders. It 
has been remarked, also, that those who practise 
this art are, in general, remarkable for long life, 
and for the good health they enjoy. The celebra- 
ted Locke used to recommend fencing as a good 
exercise for health, in the strongest terms. 

Walking. There is no exercise so natural to us, 
or in every respect so conducive to health, as walk- 
ing. It is the most perfect in which the human body 


can be employed; for by it every limb is put in mo- 
tion, and the "circulation of the blood is effectually 
carried on, throughout the minutest veins and arte- 
ries of the system. Both the body and the mind 
are enlivened by walking: and even when carried 
to an extreme, it has often been found highly ser- 
viceable in nervous diseases. This salutary and 
most excellent exercise is in the power of every 
body having the use of their limbs, and can be 
adapted, in degree and duration, to the various cir- 
cumstances and wishes of each individual. 

Walking is of two kinds, either on plain ground, 
or where there are ascents. The latter is in every 
respect greatly preferable, as by it the lungs are ex- 
ercised, and the ascent and descent agitates the body, 
unless it be in a weak state, with a useful variety. 
Walking against a high wind is very severe exer- 
cise, and not to be recommended. 

As, from various circumstances, persons residing 
in large towns, and engaged in sedentary occupa- 
tions, cannot take all that exercise abroad, that may 
be necessary for their health, they ought, as much 
as possible, to accustom themselves to be walking 
about, eA'-en in their own houses, instead of sitting 
so much at desks and tables, as is usually the case. 
This rule is peculiarly necessary to be attended to 
by literary men; and though such practice does not 
make up for the want of exercise abroad, yet it is 
the best substitute for it. 

It was an old rule, " after dinner to sit a while, 
and after supper to walk a mile;" but that adage 
is not consistent with the hours kept in modern 
times. When supper, however, was very early, 
those who resided in the country might have the 
advantage of walking two or three miles previous 
to their going to bed. It is said, that such a walk 
brought on a gentle breathing sweat, Avhich was 


favourable to repose; and that next morning, they 
awoke with a clear head, and found refreshment 
from their sleep, of which the indolent have no 

The following rules are recommended to the 
attention of those who are attached to this excel- 
lent species of exercise. 1. The most proper walk, 
for health, is in a pure and dry air, and in rather 
an elevated situation, avoiding marshy and damp 
plains. 2. In the summer season, the walk to tie 
taken morning and evening, but by no means dur- 
ing the middle of the day, unless guarded from the 
oppressive heat of the sun, under the shade of 
woods or forests; in winter, the best period of the 
day is usually after breakfast, or from ten to one. 
3. It is advisable, occasionally to change the place 
ivhere you walk; for the same place, constantly 
gone over, may excite as many disagreeable and 
painful sensations as the closet or the study. 4. 
We ought to accustom ourselves to a very stead) 
and regular, but not to a very quick pace; in set- 
ting out, it should be rather slower than what we 
afterwards indulge in. 5. An agreeable compa- 
nion contributes much to serenity of mind; but un- 
less the mode of walk is similar, as well as the 
taste and character congenial, it is better to walk 
alone; as either the one or the other of the two 
companions must be subjected to some constraint. 
6. To read during a walk is an improper action, 
highly detrimental to the eyes, and destroys al- 
most all the good effects that can be derived from 
the exercise. 

The celebrated Captain Barclay's style of walk- 
ing is to bend forward the body, and to throw its 
weight on the knees. His step is short, and his 
feet are raised only a few inches from the ground. 
Any person who will try this plan, will find that 


his pace will be quickened; at the same time he 
will walk with more ease to himself, and be better 
able to endure the fatigue of a long journey, than 
by walking in a position perfectly erect, which 
throws too much of the weight of the body on the 
ankle-joints. He always uses thick-soled shoes, 
and lamb's wool stockings. It is a good rule to 
shift the stocking frequently during the perform- 
ance of a long distance; but it is indispensably re- 
quisite to have shoes with thick soles, and so large, 
that all unnecessary pressure on the feet may be 

Riding on horseback has been justly celebrated 
as a very useful sort of exercise, more especially 
to invalids. In general, it may be laid down as a 
rule, sanctioned by experience, that riding is the 
best exercise for regaining health, and walking 
for retaining it. Riding certainly strengthens, 
in a most effectual manner, the stomach and intes- 
tines; and to the hypochondriac, and those whose 
spirits are broken down by grief, it is an inestima- 
ble remedy. It is less tiresome and laborious to 
the inferior limbs than walking, so that persons in 
a weak state of health can use it with less pain or 
difficulty; at the same time, it must be admitted, 
that the legs and feet are apt to get stiff and cold 
by riding, unless some exercise on foot be after- 
wards taken, which should always be done when 
practicable. For those in tolerable health, riding is 
best adapted for the summer, and walking for the 
winter. To those whose business or pursuit does 
not permit them to devote much of their time to 
exercise, riding is certainly preferable, more es- 
pecially in cities; as on horseback they are at once 
brought out into the fresh air, and the body is so 

* Pedestrianism, page 208. 


thoroughly agitated, that it does not require to be 
so long continued as some other exercises; an hour 
and a half, in general, being sufficient. 

It has been correctly remarked, that those who 
design to make riding turn to account, must make 
it a pleasure, and must find out a horse that entire- 
ly suits their humour, and then it will not be easy 
for them not to delight in a creature which will 
readily perform all they expect from him. Among 
the numerous cases of severe disorder cured by ri- 
ding, which might be brought forward here, I 
have selected the following for the reader's consi- 
deration, and, I hope, instruction. It is the case 
of Dr. Ward, then Bishop of Salisbury, and is 
from the pen of the celebrated Sydenham. 


" One of our prelates, (says Sydenham,) a man 
eminent for wisdom and learning, after that he had 
for a long time given himself intemperately to his 
studies, and with the whole stress of his mind, 
which in him is very great, applied himself too 
much to close thinking, fell at length into the hy- 
pochondriacal distemper, which continuing a good 
while, all the ferments of his body were vitiated, 
and all the digestions quite subverted. He had 
more than once gone through the chalybeate course; 
he had tried almost all the mineral waters, as like- 
wise antiscorbutics of all kinds, and testaceous 
powders, in order to the sweetening of his blood. 
Thus, what with the disease, and what with the 
cure, continued for so many years together, being 
nearly destroyed, he was seized with the colliqua- 
tive diarrhoea, which in the consumption, and other 
chronical distempers, when all the digestions are 
quite spoiled, is wont to be the forerunner of death : 


when he at length consulted me, I presently con- 
sidered that there was no more place left for medi- 
cines, since he had taken so many and so effica- 
cious, to so little purpose, and therefore advised 
him, for the reasons ahove-mentioned, to commit 
himself wholly to riding for a cure, beginning first 
with small stages, such as were most suitable with 
so weak a condition. I desired him to persist daily 
in that practice, till in his own opinion he was very 
well, increasing his stages gradually every day till 
he should come to ride as many miles in a day, as 
more prudent and moderate travellers usually do, 
when upon account of their affairs they set out on 
a long journey: that he should not be solicitous, as 
to what he ate or drank, or have any regard to the 
weather; but that he should, like a traveller, take 
up with whatsoever he met with. To be short; he 
set upon this course, gradually augmenting the dis- 
tance of his ridings, till at length he came to ride 
twenty, nay, thirty miles a day; and as soon he 
perceived himself better after a few days' trial, he 
was animated with the wonderfulness of the event, 
and persevered in the same course for some months; 
in which space of time he rode several thousand 
miles, as he told me himself, until he was not only 
well, but had acquired a strong and robust habit of 

Gestation. Conveyance in close carriages is 
rather an elegant piece of luxury than a mode of 
healthful exercise. If an invalid is so extremely 
weak as to be incapable of taking any other exercise, 
he had better use this than none, but it is one that can 
never with propriety be recommended under any 
other circumstances. * One or two of the windows 

* Dr. Franklin lias some pertinent remarks on this subject. 
" We abound, (says he, ) in absurdity and inconsistency. Thus, 


ought always to be kept open. It has been truly 
said, lolling in a close carriage unless a person be too 
weak to bear any other motion, only serves to de- 
stroy the benefit of a more effectual, and even more 
pleasant exercise of the limbs. 

Using an open carriage is a more healthy prac- 
tice, and in sultry weather is one that may prove 
desirable for invalids. It is highly advisable for 
people of rank and fashion to accustom themselves 
to the constant use of an open carriage, by which 
they could not fail to promote their health, and in- 
crease their strength, and be thus rendered much 
less susceptible to variations in the weather.* 

Friction. There is no subject to which it is 
more necessary to call the attention of every indi- 
vidual, desirous of preserving health, or attaining 
longevity, than to the advantages of friction. The 
ancients placed so high a value on it, that they 
scarcely passed a day without it; whereas the mo- 
derns pay but little attention to that useful practice. 
Yet how many there are, who keep a number of 

(.hough it is generally agreed, that taking the air is a good thing, 
yet what caution against air ! What stopping of crevices ! What 
wrapping up in warm clothes ! What shutting of doors and 
windows, even in the midst of summer! Many London fami- 
lies go out once a day to take the air, three or four persons in 
a coach, or perhaps six ; these go three or four miles, or as 
many turns in Hyde Park, with the glasses both up, all breath- 
ing over and over again the same air they brought out of town 
with them in the coach, with the least change possible, and 
rendered worse and worse every moment ; and this they call 
taking the air! 

* Lord Monboddo, the author of Ancient Metaphysics, never 
would enter a carriage even in the severest weather, since he 
looked upon it as an unjustifiable effeminacy. He annually 
rode from Edinburgh to London, and took other long jour- 
nies on horseback, and was also remarkable for his attachment 
to friction, and other modes of exercise. He died at the age 
of ninety, and long after seventy found himself as hale, and, in 
many respects, a3 vigorous, as he had been at thirty or forty. 


grooms to curry their horses, who would add ten 
years and upwards to their own comfortable ex- 
istence, if they would employ but one of them to 
curry themselves with a flesh-brush night and morn- 
ing. Almost every body knows what well curry- 
ing will do to horses in making them sleek and gay, 
lively and active, insomuch that it is equivalent to 
half their food. This it can no otherwise effect, 
than by aiding the circulation, and assisting nature 
to throw off, by perspiration, the recrements, or 
grosser parts of the juices, which stop the full and 
free circulation. 

Precisely the same effects will follow the daily 
use of active friction on the human subject. It has 
great power in strengthening the digestive organs, 
promoting a free perspiration, resolving obstruc- 
tions, loosening contractions, and imparting a com- 
fortable glow, and an increase of energy to the 
whole system. Thus it is uniformly of great ser- 
vice to the gouty and rheumatic, to the paralytic, 
the weakly, and the nervous; in short, to all persons 
afflicted with any chronic disease, or suffering un- 
der a state of general debility. It is also highly 
useful in promoting the growth and activity of 
children, and in preventing those obstructions to 
which they are liable, and therefore merits the re- 
gard of every parent. 

Dr. Cadogan observes that when a gouty person is 
unable to walk or ride at all, he may, by degrees, be 
brought to do both, by means of friction, and this 
I firmly believe. For that purpose, until he can rub 
himself, a handy active servant, or two, must be em- 
ployed to rub him all over, as he lies in bed, with 
flannels, or the flesh-brush, which will contribute 
greatly to brace and strengthen his nerves and 
fibres, and circulate his blood, without any fatigue 
to himself. He must thus endeavour, gradually to 


get strength to walk or ride, till he is able to walk 
two or three miles at a stretch, or to ride ten with- 
out being weary. This may seem but a trifling 
prescription to those who have never tried it suffi- 
ciently, or thought closely on the subject; but it is 
of the utmost consequence, and its effects are ama- 
zing, especially upon all those who are too weak to 
use any muscular motion themselves. Desault re- 
lates the case of a man who attained the age of one 
hundred; but who, for thirty years before his death, 
preserved himself from gout, to which he had long 
been a martyr, by constant friction. And Sir Wil- 
liam Temple, who had been himself the subject of 
this disease, and had paid great attention to its cor- 
rect and efficient treatment, observes, in reference 
to this point, that "no man need have the gout, 
who can keep a slave." To these testimonies in 
favour of the value of friction in gout, I may add 
those of Dr. Rogers and Dr. Stukely, two very re- 
spectable physicians of the last century. Dr. Rogers 
tried the plan of friction with oil, upon himself and 
others, with surprising efficacy, and declares he 
could give five hundred particular cases of its suc- 
cess. Dr. Stukely, (who was a Fellow of the Col- 
lege of Physicians,) published an interesting pamph- 
let on the subject, and says he tried it eleven years, 
"without any miscarriage that he was conscious 

Frictions are also of great use in rheumatism, 
paralytic affections, and either emaciation on the 
one hand, or corpulency on the other. The an- 
cients, it would appear, had the art of rendering fat 
people leaj, and those that were too lean, fleshy, 
partly by means of active exercise in general, but 
more especially by frictions. Galen, in particular, 

* Ring on Gout, page 55, 


is said in a short space of time, to have restored the 
flesh of many who had been emaciated, by means 
of friction with fat substances. It is reported on 
respectable authority, that a child having one of his 
legs strong and lusty, and the other much emacia- 
ted, frequent frictions with flannels, held in the 
fumes of myrrh and benjamin, rendered his emaci- 
ated leg as strong and lusty as the other. Burton 
states, that another child, about five years of age, 
who could not stand, and whose back was so weak 
that it was quite bent, by using friction all over his 
body, more especially on the back-bone, and with 
the assistance of cold bathing, was quite recovered. 

The case of Admiral Henry, of Rolvenden, in 
Kent, is a striking proof of the extraordinary pow- 
er of exercise and friction in the cure of disease. 
It is far too long an account for me to introduce 
here, but I would remark that, by these means, and 
more especially by active friction, he cured himself 
of a most severe and obstinate rheumatic attack, and 
of a most excruciating pain in the eye, resembling 
tic douloureux, accompanied with great derange- 
ment of the general health, so that he was a cripple, 
and altogether reduced to a most deplorable state. 
After a long course of friction, to which means 
chiefly he attributes the restoration of his health, he 
writes, at the advanced age of ninety-one, to the 
following effect:.— - 

" I never was better, and, at present, am likely 
to continue so. I step up and down stairs with an 
ease that surprises myself. As to gout, and simi- 
lar complaints, they dare not approach. I have 
gone through every disorder that man can go 
through, but plague and fevers, and here I am in 
very good condition. I eat and drink most hear- 
tily; my digestion is excellent, and every food a- 
grees. I can walk three miles to Tenderton with- 
out stopping. " 


It is peculiarly calculated for those who have 
weak nerves, who lead a sedentary life, who are 
subjected to a weakness or contraction in their 
joints, or who are threatened with paralytic disor- 
ders. They are thus enabled to supply the want 
of exercise of other kinds, provided their whole 
bodies, more particularly their limbs, are rubbed 
for half an hour, morning and evening, with a flesh- 
brush, till the parts begin to grow red and warm. 
We should begin with the arms, hands, feet, legs, 
and thighs; and thence proceed to the shoulders, 
back, and breast: the head should be rubbed last of 
all. The effects of this practice, when resorted to 
with care and constancy, are more important than 
can be imagined; and though it cannot be attended 
with all the advantages derived from exercise in the 
open air, yet it is the best substitute for more active 
exertions that can be possibly suggested. * 

The eminent utility of friction in reducing indu- 
rations, removing contractions and stiffness in the 
joints, is well established. It was by a judicious 
plan of continued friction that the late Mr. Grosve- 
nor, of Oxford, gained so great a reputation for the 
cure of stiff joints, and many instances might easily 
be related of the value of his practice in such cases. 
Sir Astley Cooper observes, that when it is judi- 
ciously employed, the most beneficial results have 
been obtained, in the most obstinate contractions, 
and he relates the following interesting cases in 
proof, t 

* Diligent friction was one of the chief means which Cicero 
used to regain his health, and by which he was quite restored, 
ifter he had become so weak, that his friends and physicians 
udvised him to leave off pleading. 

| Surgical Lectures, No. VI. 



"A gentleman in the neighbourhood of Not- 
tingham, when shooting, received a severe injury 
to his knee; after the violence of the first inflam- 
matory symptoms had terminated, there remained 
considerable swelling, stiffness and induration; for 
these he was attended by Mr. Attenborough, an 
eminent surgeon of Nottingham; as the gentleman 
did not get better, Mr. A. sent him to town, and 
here he for some time continued under my care and 
that of a physician; still the joint remained in the 
same state, and the means used were inadequate to 
afford relief. I advised him to go to Oxford, and 
consult Mr. Grosvenor. This he did; and as soon 
as Mr. G. saw him, and heard that his limb had 
been kept quiet, he told him to walk to the bottom 
of Christ Church Meadow, and then return and 
dine, which he really did. Friction was used in 
this case, with the greatest success; for, within six 
weeks after he went to Oxford, he called upon me 
in town, quite recovered, and thanked me for re 
commending him to Mr. Grosvenor. ** 


" The late Mr. Hey, of Leeds, (continues Sir 
Astley Cooper,) had a son who met with a serious 
injury to his ankle-joint; after trying all that he 
could to relieve it, he sent him to Mr. Grosvenor; 
and under his care, by the judicious application of 
friction, the actions of the joint were completely 

Friction may be applied to the body by the hand, 
or with flannel, rough woollen gloves, or the flesh- 


brush. The flesh-brush is by far the best mode of 
applying friction, unless where the assistance of 
aromatics or embrocations is necessary. In cases 
where the application of cold water, in addition to 
moderate friction is recommended, a sponge is 
sometimes made use of, from its power of absorb- 
ing water. But by immersing a flesh-brush in 
water, the same effect may be better obtained, as 
the advantages of friction, and the warmth and cir- 
culation which it occasions, are then gained at the 
same time with those of the cold water. This is 
the best mode of applying cold water to the head 
in case of giddiness, apoplectic or paralytic affec- 
tions, head-ach, &c. in which cases the union of 
cold water and friction is often of inestimable 
benefit. * 

The best time for using friction is in the morn- 
ing and evening, when the stomach is not distended 
by food, and the proper period for continuing it is 
from fifteen thirty minutes, at each time. In case 
of bad swellings, or stiff joints, it is generally ne- 
cessary to employ it for an hour, twice a day. 

I shall now conclude the important subject of 
friction with the following illustration of its good 
effects, in improving the general health of a distin- 
guished literary character, who relates his own 
case. t 


" Having been recommended the use of the flesh- 
brush at the age of sixty-seven, I desired to know, 

* Great benefit is sometimes derived from rubbing the body 
all over with dry, tine salt, and then washing it off' with a 
sponge, or flesh-brush, wet with cold water. We know a 
gentleman, who was a complete martyr to dyspepsia ; and who 
\va9 considered as incurable by his physicians, who was cured 
by these frictions aided by exercise and a proper diet. 

f Sir John Sinclair's Code of Health, page 456. 


when was the best time for applying it; the answer 
was, whenever most convenient. Being in Lon- 
don, and consequently denied the exercise usually 
taken in the country, and being accustomed to re- 
tire early to bed, I was subject to waking in the 
night. I took advantage of these opportunities to 
strip off my shirt and flannel waistcoat, to jump 
out of bed, and to brush, (holding a brush in each 
hand.) till I was tired, and then went to bed again. 
This plan answered, and my sleep became unbro- 
ken, till the usual hour of rising. I had, for many 
years, applied cold water, at all seasons, as soon as 
I was out of bed, but now changed it for the flesh- 
brush, using it during fifteen or twenty minutes: 
this continued for about three months; and it is re- 
markable, that a cutaneous eruption, somewhat re- 
sembling a nettle springe, which often appeared 
upon parts of the body, entirely ceased, nor did 
it re-appear until after the application of cold wa- 
ter, always followed by the brush, but in a degree 
seldomer, and less than formerly. It is more than 
a year since I began the use of the brush, and my 
health in general has, upon the whole, been better 
than for thirty years before. I had been much 
subject to rheumatic pains, but they have been 
brushed away with great success, once only ex- 
cepted, in the hip; and then by applying salt and 
water, strong enough to swim an egg, rubbing it 
in with the hand before a fire, on going to bed, 
two of these applications carried it off. I do not 
know to what to attribute my good health, under 
God, unless to the flesh-brush, as no other varia- 
tion in my habits of living took place. It appears 
to me, that it answers the purpose of moderate and 
healthy exercise, assists in freeing the skin from 
all impurities, and keeps the pores clear and open. 
The brush is applied to the back by means of a 


leather across its centre, thus rendering three 
brushes unnecessary. The harder the hrushes are, 
the better for the operation." 

Beside the different kinds of exercise which 1 
have now noticed, there are several others, that are 
very useful, but which it is not necessary for me 
to describe. I would observe, however, that the 
use of the shuttle-cock, and dumb-bells, and exer- 
cising the voice, are worthy of much regard, as 
tending to preserve health and prolong life. 

The use of the shuttle-cock is an excellent mode 
of exercise, and I have the more pleasure in re- 
commending it, as it is so well calculated for fe- 
males, who cannot, with convenience and proprie- 
ty, at all times, use so much riding or walking, 
or other kinds of exercise, as is necessary to keep 
them healthy. The shuttle-cock was a fashionable 
pastime among grown persons in the reign of James 
I, and it is a most desirable circumstance that it 
should again become fashionable, especially among 
ladies. With the advantage of its being a social 
diversion, it most agreeably exercises the whole 
human frame, by the various attitudes the players 
are perpetually putting themselves in; of course. 
it creates a graceful pliancy in the joints and mus- 
cles, accelerates the circulation of the blood, and 
propels to the cutaneous pores, all the fluids pre- 
pared by nature to pass off by this easy and salu- 
tary way; it also promotes the digestive powers; 
and, if used before dinner, will admit of a conside- 
rable share of exertion, not only without danger, 
but with great advantage, if care be taken not to 
drink any thing cold at the time. This exercise 
is peculiarly beneficial to such invalids as have suf- 
ficient strength to play at it, which should be al- 
ways carried on in the open air, if practicable. 


Young ladies at school ought, in every instance, to 
be daily exercised with the shuttle-cock. 

The use of the dumb-bells is much inferior to 
that of the shuttle-cock, but is still useful, and has 
this advantage, that it can be resorted to at any 
time of the day, whenever we have a few moments 
to spare. It certainly is of much service in exer- 
cising the arms, back, and chest. Addison ap* 
pears to have been fond of an exercise similar to 
the present, which we may properly call the lead 

"When, (says he,) I was some years younger 
lhan I am at present, I used to employ myself in 
a more laborious diversion, which I learned from 
a Latin treatise of exercises, that is written with 
great erudition: it is there called the fighting with 
a man's own shadow; and consists in the brand- 
ishing two short sticks, grasped in each hand, and 
loaded with plugs of lead at either end. This opens 
the chest, exercises the limbs, and gives a man all 
the pleasure of boxing, without the blows. I could 
w T ish that several learned men would lay out that 
time which they employ in controversies and dis- 
putes about nothing, in this method of fighting 
with their own shadows. It might conduce very 
much to evaporate the spleen, which makes them 
uneasy to the public, as well as to themselves."* 

Exercising the voice in speaking is a useful sort 
of exercise, and particularly salutary to the female- 
sex, who are more confined at home than men. 
Dr. Andrew pleasantly remarks, that one reason 
why women require less bodily exercise than men, 
is that they are often more loquacious. Loud read- 

« Spectator, No. 115. 


ing and speaking are also of singular advantage to 
literary men, affording them a substitute for other 
kinds of exercise, for which they will seldom give 
themselves sufficient leisure. It is supposed that 
to -this cause we may justly ascribe the longevity oi 
many schoolmasters and teachers in universities, 
who, notwithstanding their sedentary employments, 
and the vitiated air they daily breathe in school- 
rooms, preserve their health, and attain a long life. 
Celsus strongly recommends reading aloud to those 
who have weak stomachs. 

Singing is another mode of exercising the voice, 
which, in moderation, may be attended, with bene- 
ficial consequences, or, at least, may be useful to 
those important organs the lungs; and is also to be 
recommended, on account of its enlivening effects 
upon the mind. Those sedentary artificers, or me- 
chanics, therefore, who from habit, almost always 
sing at their work, unintentionally contribute much 
to the preservation of their health. 


Exercise should precede meals, not immediately 
follow them; the first promotes, the latter, un- 
less very moderate, obstructs digestion. Generally 
speaking, between breakfast and dinner, when the 
weather is not too hot, is the best time for active 
bodily exertion in the open air; but exercise may 
be taken with great advantage at all times of the 
day, when the stomach is not actively engaged in 
the digestion of food, and the weather is favour- 
able. In the spring and summer, early in the morn- 
ing, before breakfast, is a very proper time for ex- 
ercise to those who find it to be attended with no 
unpleasant effects. 


156 i:\ekcise. 

The quantity of exercise to be taken, must ne- 
cessarily vary a little, according to the season, and 
the age and constitution of the patient, but most 
people, possessed of moderate strength, find a good 
deal of bodily exertion highly beneficial, and it is 
an indisputable fact, that very many weakly per- 
sons, not only bear such exertion well, but require 
it. The majority of individuals in this kingdom, 
are here much more prone to err on the side of de- 
ficiency, than on that of excess. »-It appears to the 
present author to be an indispensable law of longe- 
vity, that we should exercise, at least, two hours 
every day, in the open air, when the weather will 
permit; and if the time be extended to three or four 
hours, the benefit will generally be greatly aug- 
mented. I do not mean that the whole of this time 
should be spent at once, for the times of exercising 
may be regulated according to the convenience and 
strength of the individual. It is a good rule, to 
appropriate a considerable and fixed time daily, for 
being out in the open air, and taking exercise, 
which should, I think, at least once a day proceed 
to the borders of fatigue, or, in other words, should 
be continued till we feel an agreeable lassitude, and 
a sensible degree of perspiration. In using exer- 
cise, a little fatigue need not be feared, excepting 
under a state of great debility. Some have said, 
it should never pass the borders of fatigue, but this 
is certainly an error, at least as it respects all per- 
sons not labouring under much weakness and dis- 
ease. Man, indeed, in a state of high refinement, 
is prone to err to the side of deficiency, in regard 
to daily active exertion of body, but we have 
abundant proof that nature is not so scrupulous. In 
the use of a means so essentially necessary to health 
and strength, she continually shows us that we 
ought not, in general, to be very nice in respect to 


its quantity; and I will venture to assert, that there 
is scarcely an individual in possession of moderate 
strength, who has not often found exercise carried, 
even frequently, to the extent of producing a sen- 
sible degree of fatigue, to have been highly grate- 
ful and beneficial.* Dr. Cheyne used to say, that 
the valetudinarian and the studious ought to hove 
stated times for riding or walking, and that in good 
air. Three hours should at least, in his opinion, 
be allotted for riding, or two for walking; the one 
half before dinner, and the other half, in the sum- 
mer season, in the evening; the first to beget an ap- 
petite, and the second to perfect digestion, and to 
promote sleep. 

I am firmly persuaded, that all persons in mo- 
derate or good health, will derive great advantage 
from a long walk, as of eight or nine miles, abom 
once a week, or once in ten days. Indeed, many 
delicate subjects will find such a practice of the 
greatest service in strengthening the digestive or- 
gans, and improving the state of the skin, and the 
tone of the nervous system; as I have found from 
personal experience. I know a very weakly man, 
who gains the most sensible and grateful advantage 
from such a course; the benefit to him is certainly 
the greater, if it is followed up, twice or thrice a 
week. He walks four miles and a half into the 
country, then rests, and after taking light refresh- 
ment, walks back again. Sir John Sinclair says, 
on this subject, " I was formerly accustomed to 
take only moderate exercise, sometimes on horse- 

* The number of muscles in the human body, is four hun- 
dred and seventy-four, and that of the bones two hundred and 
forty-seven ; and it W reasonable to conclude, that a very consi- 
derable degree of active corporeal exertion must be daily neces- 
sary, in order to afford sufficient exercise to so large. a number 
of bodies possessing great solidity. 


back, and sometimes on foot; walking, perhaps, 
three or four miles, at a moderate pace, I thought 
would be sufficient. But by way of experiment, I 
was accidentally led to take a walk of eight miles, 
on an ascent, and in cold weather, and to walk 
quickly, so as to throw myself into a perspiration. 
The consequence was, a hearty appetite for dinner, 
and a pleasant and comfortable sensation for sevcra] 
days after. I am persuaded, that by active exer- 
cise, and the abundant perspiration thereby excited, 
the body gets rid of some morbific, and highly 
noxious matter, which renders the frame dull and 
sluggish; and that the body will become light and 
healthy when it is expelled." I fully concur with 
this nobleman as to the utility of occasionally ex- 
citing a free perspiration by active bodily exer- 

It is well known that very active exercise is 
more necessary in cold than in hot countries, and 
is peculiarly essential during the winter season, for 
promoting perspiration, as the best defence against 
outward cold, and likewise for the better digestion 
of the gross and noxious aliments we are apt to 
live on at that period of the year. Nothing, indeed, 
is more conducive to bodily health, than long walks 
in winter, when the air is pure and bracing, and 
the cold excites quickness of motion. Nor has any 
of the seasons a more beneficial influence on our 
health than winter. But this we counteract, by 
continually indulging in the heated air of our par- 
lours, which lays a foundation for the diseases of 
the spring, which we then erroneously ascribe to 
that season of the year. 

The following may be taken as a good general 
rule — that the lean should exercise ad ruborem, 
that is, Jill the body and spirits are gently heated, 
— for that will help to fatten them; and the fat ad 


sudorem, that is, till they perspire, —for that will 
help to reduce them, and, consequently, extenuate 
the body. 

It is a just observation, that exercise, at all sea 
sons of the year, should be proportioned to the pow- 
ers. For those who are very weak, in general, it 
is better to take three short walks than one long 
one. It ought to be constantly inculcated to mo- 
thers and nursery-maids, that delicate children 
should not be allowed to walk too long at a time. 
But strong children will almost always be much 
benefited by a great deal of exercise. 

People in years should never give way to a re- 
mission of exercise. They generally require a con- 
siderable portion, but it should be of a temperate 
description, and such as does not occasion much fa- 
tigue, unless their habit of body be too full, when, 
in order to diminish its bulk, the exercise may be 
brisker. Walking, on the whole, agrees best with 
them, as it does, indeed, with most other persons 
in tolerable health, unless they have been long ac- 
customed to any other exercise. Whoever exa- 
mines the accounts handed down to us of the long- 
est livers, will generally find, that to the very last, 
they used some exercise, as walking a certain dis- 
tance every day, &c. This is mentioned as some- 
thing surprising in them, considering their great 
age; whereas, the truth is, that their living to such 
an age, without some such exercise, would have 
been the wonder.* 

When sickly people get into a convalescent state, 
exercise, under a proper system, is essential for 
their recovery. They are apt to be alarmed at the 
pain and trouble which often accompany their first 
attempts to take exercise, at least to any extend 

* Institutes of Health, p. 


They ought, at the commencement, to desist as 
soon as they begin to find themselves fatigued; but 
every day they will be enabled to bear it longer: 
and the more they persevere, the stronger they will 
become. It has been well said by Cheyne, that 
the weak and valetudinary, the studious and con- 
templative, ought to make exercise apart of their 
religion, as it is among some of the eastern nations, 
with whom pilgrimages, atstated times, are an indis- 
pensable duty. 

If, on returning from their exercise, invalids 
find themselves chilled by the cold air, instead of 
warming themselves over the fire, they ought to sit 
down well clothed, in a remote part of the room, 
until their feelings are gradually reconciled to the 
temperature of the air therein. By this precaution, 
all the hazard of rushing from one extreme to ano- 
ther, may be avoided. 

When an invalid is confined at home by bad 
weather, any active domestic exercise, like that of 
the shuttle-cock, ought to be performed several 
times a day, in a room ventilated by an open sash, 
taking care to avoid the draught of air. This will 
be found a more salutary mode of warming the 
body, than by the heat of fires. 

The following general or miscellaneous rules re- 
garding exercise, merit particular attention. 

1. The effect of any exercise should be as gene- 
ral as possible, and not confined to any particular 
limb or part of the body. Those kinds of exer- 
cise, therefore, which give action to the greatest 
number of the bodily organs, as walking, running, 
riding, &c, are much to be preferred. 2. Little 
benefit is to be expected from exercise, unless it be 
performed in a pure air; and hence it is, that many 
manufacturers and artificers, who perform all their 
labour under cover, and are often exposed to un» 


wholesome effluvia, from the materials they work 
upon, are more unhealthy than almost any other 
class of men. 3. The higher, the drier, and the 
more varied any air is, the more beneficial must 
be the exercise. On commencing any exercise, 
begin with the more gentle, and then proceed to 
the more laborious: and as sudden transitions are 
always wrong, follow the same rule when exercise 
is given up. 5. A good appetite after exercise, is 
a proof that it has not been carried to any impro- 
per excess. 6. After having taken exercise, we 
should not venture to expose ourselves to a current 
of air, or rest out of doors, in a cool or exposed 
place, or lie down on a green plot. A sudden 
change of temperature, by suppressing perspiration, 
may be extremely injurious. 7. When persons are 
confined within doors, leading a sedentary life, they 
will not compensate for the want of regular exer- 
cise, by a hard ride or walk, once a week; for the 
nerves of such people, being unaccustomed to bear 
such a degree of agitation, are overstrained and re- 
laxed by it, and the circulation of the fluids, which 
is in general slow and languid, will be thrown into 
disorder. 8. It is a good rule, frequently to vary 
the exercise you take. 9. Lord Bacon correctly 
observes, it is requisite to long life, that the body 
should never abide long in one posture, but every 
half hour at least, should change it, saving only in 
sleep. 10. Muscular motion is most agreeable and 
healthful, when the stomach is neither too empty, 
nor too much distended. 11. Nothing can be more 
injudicious than to sit down to a substantial dinner 
or supper, immediately after a fatiguing walk, ride, 
or other violent exertion. When the body is heat- 
ed, or in a state of perspiration, to devour quanti- 
ties of solid food can never be wholesome. Every 
man, therefore, should rest for some time after ex- 


crcis£, before he sits clown either to dinner or sup- 
per. 12. It is well known to be an important rule, 
carefully to avoid drinking cold liquors, either du- 
ring, or after, violent or great exercise. By then 
drinking liquids blood-warm, they will quench 
thirst better, and do no injury. 13. In taking ex- 
ercise, the dress should be free and easy, particu- 
larly on the neck and joints. 14. In violent exer- 
cises, a flannel waistcoat ought to be worn next the 
skin, to obviate the possibility of injury. 15. It 
is found very refreshing, after fatiguing exercise, to 
wash the feet in warm water, before going to bed. 
16. Serious thinking, when we are walking or 
taking any other exercise, soon fatigues us; but if 
we give ourselves up to amusing thoughts, or the 
conversation of agreeable and intelligent friends, 
the exercise is restorative. 1 7. It is very desira- 
ble to have a certain object or spot by which the 
exertion is to be bounded; as to call at the house of 
a friend, to see some delightful prospect, and the 

" By ceaseless action, all that is subsists ; 

Constant rotation of the unwearied wheel 

That Nature rides upon, maintains her health, 

Her beauty, her fertility. She dreads an instant's pause, 

And lives but while she moves." Coivper's Task. 

SLEEP. 165 



•'« When tired with vain rotations of the day, 
Sleep winds us up for the succeeding dawn." 


Sleep has been very justly called "the chief 
nourisher in life's feast." Sound refreshing sleep 
is of the utmost consequence to the health of the 
body, and the vigour of the mental and corporeal fa- 
culties; indeed, so great is its value, and so universal 
its effect, that no substitute can be found for it; 
and if it does not pay its accustomed visit, every 
individual, without exception, feels his whole frame 
to be thrown into disorder, his appetite ceases, his 
strength fails, his spirits become oppressed and de- 
jected, and, if the deprivation is long continued, 
he is soon reduced to a state of the utmost misery. 
Most persons are sensible of the beneficial effects 
of this " sweet restorer," but very few are fully 
aware of all its value and advantages, or the means of 
ensuring a regular return of it would be more gene- 
rally and studiously cultivated. 

The advantages of sleep are, that by it the ex- 
hausted constitution is repaired, and the vital en- 
ergies restored; the process of assimilation or nou- 
rishment goes on more perfectly; perspiration 
is promoted, and thus much acrid matter is ex- 
pelled; the vigour of the mental faculties is renew- 
ed, and the body attains its proper growth. Sleep 
also contributes to the prolongation of life, and in 
many cases to the restoration of health, and the 
cure of disease. These inestimable advantages 

166 SLEEP- 

caused the celebrated Kant to observe, — " Tako 
from man hope and sleep, and you will make him 
the most wretched being upon earth." 

During the day, the irritability or excitability 
natural to the human frame in an ordinary state of 
health, is exhausted by light, heat, sound, and, 
above all, by bodily exercise and mental exertion, 
and sleep is the method which nature has provided 
for the re-accumulation of this excitability, and the 
consequent restoration of the vital energy, which 
the body had lost by its former exertions. 

When we are awake, the nice and delicate process 
of perfect assimilation cannot be so well carried on, 
because the incessant action »f the body and mind, 
being always partial and irregular, prevents the 
equal distribution of the blood to all parts alike. 
In sleep, when it is quiet and natural, all the mus- 
cles of the body, that is, all active powers which are 
subject to our will, are lulled to rest, composed and 
relaxed into a temporary kind of torpor, that leaves 
not the least obstruction or hindrance to the blood 
being transmitted to every atom of the frame; the 
pulse is then slower and more equal, the respira- 
tion deeper and more regular, and the same degree 
of vital warmth is diffused alike through every 
part, so that the extremities are equally warm with 
the heart. 

In sleep, all the voluntary motions which are of 
an exhausting nature cease, but those that are vital 
and involuntary, which, instead of being exhaust- 
ing, serve to recruit our strength, continue in full 
force: these are, the motion of the alimentary canal, 
on which nutrition depends; the motion of the 
heart, which distributes the blood to every part of 
the animated frame ; respiration, which supplies the 
pabulum of life; and perspiration, by which the 
acrid matter in the body is expelled, indeed, 

SLEEP. 167 

during sleep, nothing passes through the pores of 
a healthy person, but what is thoroughly digested, 
and fitted to be thrown off.* 

Scarcely any thing so speedily and so largely 
consumes the nervous power as intense thought, 
and nothing so effectually restores this power as 
sound sleep. By sleep also, those violent passions, 
by which the frame is often so much agitated and 
exhausted, are appeased; and after refreshing slum- 
bers, we can reflect on our disquietudes with a 
calm mind, and again reconcile ourselves to the 
troubles of life. 

As the body receives nourishment during sleep, 
its growth must be thereby promoted. It has been 
ascertained by experiment, that young plants grow 
in the night time, which is generally their time 
of sleep; and there is every reason to believe that 
young animals follow the same rule. Hence, in- 
deed, it is, that more sleep is necessary for chil- 
dren than for adults; and, in general, it has been 
remarked, that a person is considerably taller when 
he rises in the morning, refreshed with sound sleep, 
than when he goes to bed at night,* exhausted by 
the labours of the day. During sleep, there is also 
a manifest relaxation of the fibres, and the body 
becomes more plump, so that any ligatures, if close, 
are apt to become painful; and on that account, 
many persons find it advisable to loosen the collar, 
or any tight part of their dress, when they go to 

Among the marks and symptoms of longevity, 
that of being naturally a long and sound sleeper, is 

• Townsend's Guide to Health, vol. 2, p. 71. 

| This difference in size is owing to the elastic substance 
that connects the vertebra, being compressed by the weight 
of the superincumbent parts during the day, whilst the pies- 
sure is removed when reclining in a horizontal posture during 
the night, and this intervertebral substance then expands. 

168 SLEEP. 

justly considered to be one of the surest indications'. 
This appears to be owing to the physical effects of 
sleep, which retards all the vital movements, col- 
lects the vital power, and restores what has been 
lost in the course of the preceding day. Indeed, 
if great watchfulness, by accelerating the consump- 
tion of the fluids and solids, abridges life, a proper 
quantity of repose must tend to its prolongation.* 

Moreover, in most diseases, securing sound sleep, 
is a decisive symptom of recovery, and is a princi- 
pal object with every able physician. Indeed, many 
diseases cannot be cured if the necessary rest be 
wanting. Since the days of Hipocrates, the father 
of physic, sleep has been accounted a most desira- 
ble and welcome guest in fevers, diminishing the 
rapid motion of the blood, and rendering the body 
cooler. • It is likewise of great advantage in check- 
ing extraordinary evacuation: hence its utility in 
loosenej^ and bloody flux. The comfort which sleep 
affords' Yo persons afflicted with gouty complaints, 
pleurisies, and consumptions, need not be dwelt 
upon; and in deliriums and phrensies, it is certainly 
+he most effectual means of restoration. 

The preceding observations, of course, refer on- 
ly to a proper quantity of sleep, as few things are 
more pernicious than too great an indulgence in it 
This excess brings on a sluggishness, and dulness 
of all the animal functions, and materially tends to 
weaken the whole body. It blunts and destroys 
the senses, and renders both the body and mind 
unfit for action. From the slowness of the circu- 
lation which it occasions, there necessarily follows 
great corpulency, a bloated habit ef body, and a 
tendency to dropsy, lethargy, apoplexy, and other 
disorders. Under this head, then, we have to 

* Hufeland on Long Life, vol. 2, p. 196. 

SLEEP. 169 

consider principally, 1. The number of hours ne- 
cessary for sleep; 2. The period best calculated for 
that purpose; and 3. The means of promoting sleep 
when wanted. 


The number of hours necessary for sleep, is a 
point which has occasioned much discussion; but 
the opinion generally entertained by the ablest 
physicians, is, that although it must necessarily 
vary a little according to the age and strength of 
individuals, yet from seven to eight hours, in the 
four and twenty, is the proper time, and that this 
period should scarcely ever be exceeded by adults, 
who are desirous of attaining long life. Seven 
hours sleep in the twenty-four, is what I am in- 
clined to recommend as the standard for persons 
>vho are strong and healthy, and eight hours for 
such as are weakly, or in ill health. It is indispu- 
table, that the delicate require more than the 
vigorous, women more than men, and very young 
children more than either;* but it is worthy of 
particular remark, that the sick and weakly 
seldom require more than eight hours and a half, 
or at the most nine hours, and will rarely, if ever, 
fail to be injured by a longer indulgence. A suf- 
ficiency of sleep is powerfully restorative, but I 
am fully persuaded that an excess, of even an 
hour, is highly detrimental. Every one, there- 
fore, should endeavour to ascertain what quantity 
of sleep he requires, that is, by what quantity he 
is rendered most comfortable and vigorous through 
the day, which aH may readily ascertain by ex- 

* Children are an exception to the above rules. They re- 
quire a great deal of sleep, and should, in general, be permit. 
Jed to indulge in it to their full satisfaction. 

170 SLEEP. 

periment. That celebrated and excellent man y 
Mr. John Wesley, who was very attentive to the 
use of the best means of invigorating his body, so 
that he might be able to exert himself for the gen- 
eral benefit of mankind, to the utmost that his 
corporeal and mental powers would allow, states, 
that lie had been accustomed to awake every night 
about twelve or one, and lay awake for some time} 
and thence concluded, that this arose from his 
lying in bed longer than nature required. To be 
satisfied on this head, he procured an alarum, 
which awakened him next morning at seven, near 
an hour earlier than he had risen before; yet he 
lay awake again at night. The next morning he 
rose at six; but, notwithstanding this, he lay awake 
the second night. The third morning, he rose at 
five; but, nevertheless, lay awake the third night. 
The fourth morning, he rose at four; and, lying 
awake no more, he, for a period of above sixty 
years, continued the same practice; and, taking 
the year round, he never lay awake for a quarter 
of an hour together, in a month. He justly adds, 
that by the same experiment, (rising earlier and 
earlier every morning,) any man may find out 
how much sleep he really wants. Mr. Wesley 
was in the habit of going to bed at ten, so that in 
rising at four he had six hours sleep, which, we 
see, he considered sufficient for himself, although 
he allows that invalids and delicate persons may 
require seven or eight hours. 

Nothing can be more absurd, than for any indi- 
vidual, who wishes to accomplish great things, 
to deny himself the advantages either of sleep or 
exercise. Many studious men fall into a great 
and pernicious error in abridging their proper time 
for repose, in order that they may have the longer 
period for study. This is highly detrimental both 

SLEEP. 171 

to the mind and body, for the mind that has been 
much exercised through the day, not only seeks 
to recruit its strength in sound and refreshing 
sleep, but, I am convinced, cannot regain its ut^ 
most energy without it; so that, instead of any 
advantage being gained by so bad a practice, there 
must necessarily be a loss. It has been justly 
observed, that any person can go through as much 
business as is necessary, for any considerable pe- 
riod of time, by a uniform application, at the 
rate of eight hours a day; which will leave abun- 
dance of time for sleep and exercise. It appears, 
from Cooper's Memoirs of Dr. Priestley, thai 
though he is supposed to have written more, and 
on a greater variety of subjects, than any other 
English author, yet it does not appear, that, at 
any period of his life, he spent more than six or 
eight hours a day in business that required much 
mental exertion. Let any one, then, devote from 
seven to eight hours to sleep; and from three to 
four to exercise, and even four hours to meals and 
to amusement; and he will be enabled, from the 
refreshment which his body, his mind, and his 
spirits, thus receive, to do a greater quantity of 
business, and to study with more advantage, in 
the course of twelve months, than if he were to 
labour at his books for ten or twelve hours a day, 
by which his health and spirits would probably 
be materially affected. * 

It is proper to add, that the opposite extreme 
of indulging in too much sleep, should be carefully 
avoided. By soaking for nine, ten, or eleven 
hours between warm sheets, the flesh becomes soft 
and flabby, the strength of the digestive organs 
impaired, and the nervous system relaxed and en- 

* Sinclair's Code of Health, p. 310, 

172 SLEEP. 


Nature certainly intended exercise for the day, 
and rest for the night. As soon as the sun quits 
our part of the globe, and the atmosphere we 
breathe in is divested of its enlivening rays, our 
nerves and fibres become relaxed, our muscles lose 
somewhat of their contracting force, and we find, 
as it were, a natural propensity to rest. But if, 
running counter to the laws of nature, whether by 
exercise or rioting, we keep up, during night, the 
contractions of our voluntary muscles, and the 
tensions of our nerves and fibres, at a time when 
they should be relaxed, and endeavour to relax 
them in the day time, when they should be con- 
tracted, we disturb the whole economy of our bo 
dies, by which health must ultimately be destroy- 
ed. The young are thence apt to fall into con- 
sumptions, hectic fevers, or other acute disorders, 
whilst as Williams justly remarks, those advanced 
in years, become victims to the more lasting tor- 
ments of a chronical disease. Another point to be 
considered is, that by the custom of sitting up late 
at night, the eyes suffer severely, day-light being 
much more favourable to those delicate organs, than 
any artificial light whatsoever. 

Valangin relates a circumstance that satisfactori- 
ly proves the advantage of sleeping in the night, 
instead of the day. It is that of an experiment 
made by two colonels of horse in the French army, 
who had much disputed which period of the day 
was fittest for marching, and for repose. As it 
was an interesting subject, in a military point of 
view, to have it ascertained, they obtained leave 
from the commanding officer to try the experi- 
ment. One of them, although it was in the heat of 

SLEEP. 173 

Summer, marched in the day, and rested at night, 
and arrived at the end of a march of 600 miles, 
without the loss of either men or horses; but the 
Other, who thought it would be less fatiguing to 
march in the cool of the evening, and part of the 
night, than in the heat of the day, at the end of 
the same march, had lost most of his horses, and 
Some of his men. 

In hot climates, more especially in the neigh- 
bourhood of swampy ground, persons cannot too 
sedulously avoid being out after sun-set, on account 
of the extremely deleterious qualities of the air at 
that period, which, indeed, in many places is cer- 
tain death, and in most is powerfully influential in 
the production of dysentery, and some of the worst 
fevers that prevail in those regions. Dr. Lind re- 
lates a striking proof of the baneful effects of the 
night air at Batavia. " During the sickly season, 
(says he,) a boat belonging to the Medway man of 
war, which attended on shore every night to bring 
fresh provisions, was three times successively 
manned, not one of her crew having survived that 

The plan of going to bed early and rising be« 
times, has been called the golden rule for the at- 
tainment of health and long life, and is a maxim 
sanctioned by various proverbial expressions. It 

* And Dr. James Johnson observes, in reference to this point, 
"Nothing could more clearly prove the limited range of marsh 
effluvium, than the contrast between the health of the navy and 
that of the army. Although the ships were distributed all along 
the shores of Walcheren and Beveland, from Flushing to Batz, 
most of them within a cable's length of the banks, yet no sick^ 
ness occurred, except among such parts of the crews as were 
much employed on shore, and remained there during the nighty 
Most officers of ships, and many of the men, were in the habit of 
making excursions through all' parts of the islands by day, with 
complete immunity from fever. The night was here, as in eiiltrr 
Climates, the period of danger." On Tropical Climates, p. 99. 

174 SLEEP. 

is an undoubted fact, that when old people have 
been examined, regarding the causes of their long 
life, they have uniformly agreed in one particular, 
that they went to bed early, and rose early; and, 
without going to so great an extent as to consider 
early rising as the principal fundamental law of 
longevity, 1 am convinced it is attended with ex- 
cellent effects, and am much disposed to concur in 
the correctness of the old doggrel rhyme, — 

" Early to bed, and early to rise, 

Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." 

In regard to sleeping in the day-time, and more 
especially after dinner, it should be remarked, that 
although many persons, who have enjoyed good 
health, have long been in the habit of sleeping a 
little in the afternoon, yet it is, upon the whole, 
not to be recommended. One grand objection to 
it is, that it is contrary to the course pointed out 
by nature, which has allotted the night for sleep, and 
the day for exertion; and it may be added, that the 
most healthy persons are very rarely found to sleep 
after dinner. When individuals in the possession 
of a good measure of health and strength, find an 
inclination to sleep after dinner, it is very common- 
ly owing to their having eaten too much. I have 
already remarked at page 116, that those who take 
no more than is required for the growth and nour- 
ishment of the body, find themselves lighter, and 
more cheerful, after a substantial meal, than before 
it, and that subsquent heaviness and torpor is a sure 
sign of excess. Many will be disposed to doubt 
-this, but it is fully ascertained to be a fact; and if 
those who still continue doubtful on the subject, 
will make the experiment for a couple of months, 
of partaking only of that quantity of food at dinner, 
which does not make them heavy and sleepy, but, 

SLEEP. 173 

•on the contrary, lighter and more lively than be- 
fore, they will infallibly find their health and 
strength so much improved, as to convince them 
of the truth of what is now advanced. Notwith- 
standing, to the weakly and the aged, a " forty- 
wink's nap," in the middle of the day, will often 
prove useful, if it does not intefere with the rest at 
night; if it does, every one must see the propriety 
of putting an immediate stop to the practice. Half 
an hour's, or an hour's sleep after dinner, is fre- 
quently of much service to literary men, when they 
have been previously engaged in close mental ap- 
plication,* and to all persons after great mental 
disquietude, from whatever cause arising. Men- 
tal anxiety is well known to be extremely exhaust- 
ing, and sleep in this case proves one of the most 
powerful restoratives that can be had. In pletho- 
ric habits, sleeping in the day is most decidedly 

The best posture for sleeping in after dinner, is ; 
in my opinion, a reclining one in a large arm 
chair, with the feet and legs raised on a high stool; 
This I have found to suit the feeble much better 
than a horizontal position. Some professional 
men recommend the latter mode, and Dr. Darwin 
says, (in Zoonomia, Vol. iv. p. 137,) "People 
who are feeble, digest their dinner best, if they 
lie down and sleep, as most animals do, when 
their stomachs are full;" but this I regard as a 
mistake. Dr. Darwin probably never laboured 
under indigestion, but I have, and am convinced 

* The late celebrated surgeon, John Hunter, was in the habit 
of taking half an hour's sleep every day, as soon as the cloth was 
removed from the dining table, and if disturbed, was always 
much displeased. To him it nc doubt proved a valuable resto- 
rative, as he was constantly engaged in mental exercises, rose 
early in the morning, and was withal in very delicate health, 

176 SLEEP. 

that by far the greater number of persons who 
have weak stomachs, do not find themselves so 
comfortable, and digestion to proceed with so 
much ease, in the recumbent position on a sofa, as 
in a reclining one in a large chair. The strong 
and active may not experience any uneasiness in 
the recumbent posture, but the feelings of the dys- 
peptic will soon declare against it. In some cases 
of indigestion, I have known it sufficient to pro- 
duce immediately a very uncomfortable sensation 
of weight and oppression at the pit of the stomach. 


Sleep is so natural to man, that in almost every 
instance, where the individnal is in tolerable 
health, it must be his own fault, if he does not 
enjoy it to that extent which is so essential for his 
comfort and happiness. Even in ill health, a 
proper attention to the best means of promoting 
sleep will very often be crowned with great suc- 
cess, and I have reason to believe, that many in- 
valids suffer greatly for want of the refreshment 
it is so eminently calculated to impart, either from 
ignorance of the methods by which it is to be pro- 
cured, or from a neglect to use them. 

The principal circumstances to be attended to, 
in order to procure refreshing sleep, are, the na- 
ture and quantity of our food and exercise; the 
size and ventilation of the bedchamber; the kind 
of bed and clothing; and the state of the mind. 

It is certain that a full stomach* almost invaria- 

* The night-mare is almost always a symptom of indigestion, 
and very often arises from the stomach being over-loaded at 
night, or from taking food of an indigestible nature at supper. 
It should be remarked, however, that immoderate repletion 

SLEEP. 177 

bly occasions restless nights, and it is therefore 
an important rule to make a very light supper, 
and not to take any food later than an hour , or 
an hour and a half, before bed-time. Towards 
evening the digestive organs seek for repose, in 
conjunction with every other part of the body; 
they are then fatigued and enervated by the la- 
bours of the day; and, consequently, to give them 
much to do at that period, cannot fail to irritate 
and disorder them, which irritation, from the 
stomach being the grand centre of sympathies, is 
quickly propagated, through the medium of the 
nervous system, to every part of the body — hence 
arises general restlessness, instead of a disposition 
to sleep. It is worthy of observation also, that 
the stomach will sometimes be much irritated by 
a small quantity of indigestible food taken at 
night, and thus may sleep be prevented as certain- 
ly as if the organ were overloaded with food. 

A sufficient quantity of exercise or muscular 
exertion, powerfully contributes to sleep, and a 
principal reason why so many bilious and nervous 
persons are so distressed for want of it, is from 
neglecting to take active exercise in the day. 
With some persons, the most effectual methods of 
procuring sleep will fail, unless exercise be resort- 

during any part of the preceding day, will give rise to night- 
mare, although nothing may have been taken at supper. The 
cure of this affection will depend on improving the condition 
of the digestive organs, by attention to diet, active exercise, 
and the use of alterative and stomachic medicines. The pills, 
No. 1, will be very useful. (See the end of the volume.) If 
the complaint is very troublesome, more especially if associa- 
ted with severe derangement in the constitution, one of the 
pills, No. 3, ought also to be taken at night. A Mr. Waller, 
who was much harassed by this complaint, has recommended 
a large dose of the carbonate of soda to be taken once or twice 
a day: but, although useful, it is not, in my opinion, so effica- 
cious as the preceding means. 

178 SLEEP. 

•ed to. I mean, of course, exercise id the open 
air, the breathing of which of itself has an exhila- 
rating and sooothing effect on the mind, conducive 
to sound repose. It is an excellent plan to walk 
up and down a large room, or passage, for half an 
hour, or more, before going to bed, and the use of 
[umb-bfells for a part of the time will augment 
its good effects. This is a most desirable practice 
for literary men, and other sedentary individuals. 
The celebrated Cato, of Utica, was accustomed to 
walk about after supper, before he endeavoured to 
settle himself to sleep. 

The size, ventilation, and coolness of the bed- 
chamber deserve, much regard. Our sleeping 
apartments ought to be airy, large, and lofty, and 
not situated on a ground floor, and much less un- 
der ground. The modern practice of building 
houses with kitchens under ground, is highly per- 
nicious to health, and may be truly called burying 
people before their time, for the lives of many 
are shortened by it. Nothing can be more im- 
prudent or absurd, than the conduct of those who 
Jiavirg spacious houses, prefer to sleep in small 
apartments. The more airy a bed-room is, the 
better for health. 

A bed-chamber should be well ventilated in the 
day time, as it is principally occupied in the night, 
when all the doors and windows are shut. The 
windows should be kept open, as much as the sea- 
son will admit of, during the day; and sleep will 
probably be more sound and beneficial, in propor- 
tion as that rule is practised. Indeed, it is very 
material, both for invalids, and persons in health, 
that there should be an admission of a free circu- 
lation of air into their bed-chambers, in every pos- 
sible way. For this reason, chimney-boards 
should rarely be used. 

SLEEP. 179 

There are many ways pf ventilating our sleep- 
ing rooms during the night, as removing the chim- 
ney-board, leaving the door open, or a window 
in an ajoining apartment. During the warm close 
weather of summer, or autumn, a part of the sash 
of a window in our apartment may be left open, 
the current of air being interrupted by the shutter. 
or by dropping a window curtain before it. The 
order in which these means are used, and the ex- 
tent to which they are carried, must be left, to the 
individual. We may bring ourselves, by degrees, 
to bear a very free circulation of air in our sleep- 
ing rooms, during the night, but great and sudden 
changes must be carefully avoided. Dr. Adair 
states, that a gentleman who had laboured for 
many years under a complication of nervous symp- 
toms, for which he had obtained no relief from 
medicine, at length determined to try the eifects 
of ventilating his chamber in the manner above 
described, and was benefited thereby beyond ex- 
pectation. An eminent physician also, who had, 
for many years, been occasionally subject to palpi- 
tations ot the heart, shortness of breathing, great 
anxiety and depression of spirits, universal tre- 
mor, and other symptoms of the kind usually called 
nervous, had made trial of many medicines of 
the antispasmodic kind, but had found nothing so 
effectual as a strict attention to preserve a due tem- 
perature of body during the night, at which time 
the symptoms were most apt to recur. He says, 
that in order to preserve that temperature, he 
found it necessary to use only a moderately thin 
quilt in the summer, with the addition of a mode- 
rately warm blanket in the winter, and no fire in 
the room, one window of which was kept open all 
night in the summer, and the whole of the day in 
cold weather. This regimen produced sound and 

180 SLEEP. 

refreshing sleep, and almost an entire exemption 
from any troublesome symptoms of a similar kind- 
that frequently came on in the day time. 

Dr. Franklin correctly remarks, that a constant 
supply of fresh air in a bed-chamber, is a grand 
means of preserving health. He says, 

"It has been a great mistake, to sleep in rooms 
exactly closed, and in beds surrounded by curtains 
No outward air that may come in to you, is so un- 
wholesome as the unchanged air, often breathed, 
of a close chamber. As boiling water does not 
grow hotter by longer boiling, if the particles that 
receive greater heat can escape; so living bodies do 
not putrify, if the particles, as fast as they become 
putrid, can be thrown off. Nature expels them by 
the pores of the skin and lungs; and in a free open 
air, they are carried off, but in a close room, we 
receive them again and again, though they become 
more and more corrupt. Confined air, when sa- 
turated with perspirable matter, will not receive 
more, and that noxious matter must remain in our 
bodies, and occasion diseases." 

The temperature of the bed-room ought to be 
about 50 of Fahrenheit's thermometer, which is 
rather cool, and most conducive to sleep. Avery 
warm room is unhealthy, and renders us restless. 
And unless there be any apprehension of damp, a 
bed-room, more especially if small, should never 
have a fire in it, except in the freezing nights of 
winter, as it unduly raises the temperature, vitiates 
the air, and renders us more susceptible to varia- 
tions of the weather. The burning of a rush-light, 
or lamp, during the night, is also objectionable, a& 
it tends to prevent the rest of those whose sleep is 
uneasy, particularly of the aged. 

SLEEP. 181 

The materials on which we sleep, is of much 
consequence, both as it regards our health, and the 
soundness of our repose. The use of feather-beds 
is now almost universal in this country, yet there 
can be no doubt that they are highly injurious to 
health, and have a tendency to prevent sleep, espe- 
cially in the summer. To the invalid, and those 
who are disposed to distortion of the spine and 
shoulder, they are particularly hurtful. Such as 
will have them in the winter, should invariably ex- 
change them for a mattress in the spring and sum- 
mer. Our great philosopher Locke wisely remarks, 
that the bed should be hard for strengthening the 
parts; whereas, being buried every night in fea- 
thers, melts and dissolves the body, is often the 
cause of weakness, and the forerunner of an early 
grave. Warmth about the kidneys, the necessary 
consequence of sleeping on down and feather beds, 
is very apt to breed the gravel and stone, and to 
occasion other disorders. On the whole, the in- 
vention of what are called hair mattrasses, is su- 
perior to every other for this country, and it is 
highly desirable they should be generally adopted. 
Feather-beds are more injurious to the health of 
children, than even of adults, and especially if they 
are weakly. 

In northern climates, feather beds are often ne- 
cessary, and in Great Britain, the aged may often 
require them, in order to preserve or increase their 
heat, which is sometimes inconsiderable, and if 
lessened would prevent their sleeping. 

The bed-clothes should also be as light and cool 
as possible in the spring and summer, and in the 
winter no more than just sufficient to preserve a 
due degree of warmth. Young people and invalids, 
in particular, ought to avoid many bed-clothes. 
The head should be only lightly covered. In my 

182 V SLEEP* 

opinion, the use of curtains should be avoided; that 
is, they ought not to be drawn in any degree around 
the bedstead, of any person who is desirous oi 
having good health and sound sleep. It is impos- 
sible to conceive of what utility they can be; they 
cannot with propriety be used to exclude light or 
cold, because the former should be excluded by 
window blinds, and as it respects the latter, it has 
been my aim, throughout these observations, to 
show that the chamber should be airy, which ob- 
ject will be effectually counteracted by close drawn 

The old custom of warming the bed, deserves 
to be reprobated, as it has a direct tendency to pro- 
duce debility. A cold bed, is a sort of cold bath, 
and the slight chill arising from it is beneficial to 
health, and conducive to subsequent repose. 

The Chinese have paid very particular attention 
to the subject of sleep; and, among other maxims, 
strongly recommend, before we lie down, not to 
employ our thoughts with any circumstances that 
can shock the imagination, or leave impressions 
that may disturb our rest. Every one knows that 
if our minds are much agitated or distressed in the 
day, we are likely to have a restless night, and 
therefore calmness and equanimity of mind should 
be cultivated to the utmost. Even when adverse 
and painful circumstances do arise, and arise they 
will to every human being, much may be effected 
by resolution and firmness, towards enabling us to 
banish them from our minds at the time we retire 
to rest. It is an indisputable fact, that we may al- 
most invariably obtain a great command over our 
thoughts, by an earnest endeavour perseveringly 
followed up. Most men are too prone to give way 
to anxiety and grief, which materially augments 
their strength and evil consequences. 

SLEEP. 183 

If, notwithstanding attention to the preceding 
rules, sleep is still found to be unsound and unre- 
freshing, a brisk use of the flesh-brush before going 
to bed, or rising from the bed, and freely ven- 
tilating it, will often produce a very favourable 

The employment of the flesh-brush I consider of 
considerable service. There can be no doubt of 
its being a healthy custom, and as it greatly pro- 
motes the insensible perspiration, exercises the 
whole body, and repairs the animal spirits, it will 
be found to conduce to subsequent repose. The 
feet, particularly the soles, the legs, joints, and re- 
gion of the stomach, should be smartly rubbed, 
after having undressed, for ten, fifteen, or twenty 
minutes; then, walk about the room in that state 
for a few minutes, until you are cool, especially in 
the summer, and if in tolerable health. The cele- 
brated Franklin had a custom of standing for a few 
moments after he was undressed, before he went to 
bed, and he believed that he thereby procured more 
refreshing sleep.* The flesh-brush is a valuable re- 
source to those who have cold feet, as no person 
can sleep till they get warm, which this brush is 

• Dr. Franklin's rules for sleeping well, and having- pleasant 
dreams, are, 1. To eat moderately; 2. To use thinner and more 
porous bed-clothes, which will suffer the perspirable matter 
more easily to pass through them; and, 3. If'you are awakened by 
any accident, and cannot easily sleep again, get out of'bed, beat 
up and turn your pillow, shake the bed-clothes well, with at 
least twenty shakes, then throw the bed open, and leave it to 
cool; in the meanwhile, walk about your chamber undressed, 
till your skin has had time to discharge its load, which it will 
do sooner, as the air may be drier and cooler: when you begin 
to find the cold air unpleasant, then return to your bed, and 
you will soon fall asleep, and your sleep will be sweet and 

1 The present author considers these very excellent rules. 

184 SLEEP. 

eminently calculated to ensure. :: An able writer on 
regimen states, that he knew a gentleman, upwards 
of eighty, who, having frequently found his sleep 
prevented by coldness of his feet, procured a large 
and hard brush, on which he stood, and rubbed his 
feet for some minutes, previous to going to bed; 
and this he found a much more effectual means of 
preventing the sense of coldness, and of concilia- 
ting sleep, than the application of any thing actu- 
ally hot. 

Another excellent practice, in case you have gone 
to bed and cannot sleep, is to rise, shake the bed 
well, draw the upper clothes down to the feet, and 
walk about the room till both you and the bed are 
freshened. Fuller states, that some hysteric peo- 
ple, who have lain half a nigbt restless and dis- 
turbed, and without the least inclination to sleep, 
upon following this plan have found themselves 
quite altered, and able, when they went to bed again, 
to sleep well. If the individual has much heat or 
feverishness about him, it will be useful to go at 
the same time to a large wash-hand basin full of 
cold water, and wash freely. 

Warm bathing of the feet also is sometimes found 
of great service in promoting sound sleep. On- 
going to bed, the feet and legs may be bathed, for 
ten or fifteen minutes, in a narrow deep tub of 
warm water; and after they are wiped quite dry, 
a pair of worsted stockings or socks may be put on. 

* The writer of this note has suffered much and lost many 
nights-rest, from cold feet. He has derived most relief from 
bathing the feet, two or three times a week, at bc-d time, in very 
warm water, then rubbing them quite dry, and wrapping them 
up in flannel. Washing the feet every night in cold water has in 
some cases answered equally well. This coldness of the lower 
extremities is usually accompanied with indigestion ; of course 
attention should be paid to the diet and recrimen. 

SLEEP. 185 

or not, asisfelt most agreeable. It has certainly a 
very soothing effect, and will often be found par- 
ticularly beneficial to studious men, and old people, 
more especially in cold weather. Of course, it 
must not be continued for any length of time, but be 
used as a means of restoring natural rest, being dis- 
continued immediately the object is gained. 

The following miscellaneous rules respecting 
sleep deserve to be recorded in this place. 1. 
Many real or imaginary invalids lie long in bed in 
the morning, to make up for a deficiency of sleep 
in the night-time; but this ought not to be permit- 
ted, for the body must necessarily be enervated by 
long continuance in a hot and foul air. A little re- 
solution will enable invalids to surmount this de- 
structive habit. By rising early, and going to bed 
in due time, their sleep will become sound and re- 
freshing, which otherwise they cannot expect. 2. 
It is an indispensable rule, that fat people should 
avoid soft beds, and should sleep little, and rise 
early, as the only chance they have of keeping 
their bulk within due bonds. 3. It often happens, 
that if a person has not slept well, he feels a weari- 
ness in the morning, which is best removed by ex- 
ercise. 4. Such persons as are subject to cold feet 
ought to have their legs better covered than the body, 
when they are in bed. 5. We should never suffer 
ourselves to doze, or fall asleep, before we go to bed, 
as it must greatly diminish the probability of sound 
repose, when we wish for sleep. 6. Reading in bed 
at night is a most pernicious custom; it strains the 
eyes, prevents sleep, and injures the health. 7. 
At large schools, where great numbers of children 
sleep together, the utmost attention ought to be 
paid to the nature of the beds, the bedding, the airi- 
ness of the apartment, and every thing that can 
prevent the bad effects of crowding numbers toge- 


ther, and compelling them to breathe a confined and 
vitiated atmosphere. 8. Remember sleep is sound, 
sweet, and refreshing, according as the alimentary 
organs are easy, quiet, and clear. 



It is certainly of great consequence, as it res- 
pects the health of the body, to possess a command 
over the passions of the mind. All physicians agree, 
that the passions, if given way to, have a strong 
tendency to exhaust the finest of the vital powers; 
to destroy, in particular, digestion and assimilation; 
to weaken the vigour of the heart, and the whole 
nervous system; and, by these means, to impede 
the imporant business of restoration. Mental agi- 
tation, therefore, must prove an active predispos- 
ing cause of disease; while, on the other hand, a 
calm contented disposition, and the exercise of a 
proper dominion over our passions and affections, 
is universally found to counteract the tendency to 
disorder arising from other causes, and is, con- 
sequently, a grand source of health. It is the more 
necessary to attend to the effects of the passions on 
the health of man, as there is reason to believe, 
that any complaint arising from vehement agita- 
tion of mind, is more obstinate than that which is 
occasioned by violent corporeal agitations, excess 
in diet, and many other sources; because the latter 
are cured by rest and sleep, by temperance, &c. 
Which have but little influence on the former. 

It is not requisite to enter at great length into 
the present subject in this volume, and I shall, 


therefore, merely make a few further remarks on 
the influence of fear, and hope, in particular, on 
the well-being of our frame. 

Fear has been correctly designated a base pas- 
sion, and beneath the dignity of man. It robs him 
of power, reflection, resolution, judgment, and, in 
short, of all that pre-eminence which the human 
mind ought to enjoy. It has likewise great influ- 
ence in occasioning and in aggravating disease, and 
in preventing their cure.* It retards and disor- 
ders the circulation, hinders respiration, deranges 
the secretions and excretions, especially those of 
the stomach, bowels, kidneys, and skin, and re- 
laxes the whole body. It cannot, therefore, excite 
surprise, if this passion should often dispose to 
some very inveterate diseases, and frequently ren- 
ders those fatal which have arisen from other 
causes, and which an undaunted mind would have 
overcome. It has been frequently remarked, un- 
der the spread of epidemical disorders, that the 
fearful are much more readily infected by them 
than the courageous; because fear, by weakening 
the energy of the heart, and whole nervous system, 
enables the infectious matter to make that deep 
impression on the frame, which is in general ne- 
cessary to the subsequent development of the ac- 
tions of the epidemical distemper. 
Hope, on the other hand, — 

-prolongs our happier hour, 

Or deepest shades, that dimly low'r 
And blacken round our weary way, 
Gilds with a gleam of distant day."| 

Button, the naturalist, died a martyr to the stone, becauso 
the enlightened men he consulted, dissuaded him from the 
operation. They knew well that he was aware of the pain 
and danger attending it, and dreaded it much. 
+ Campbell's Pleasures of Hope. 


The pleasures of hope have long been considered 
one of the greatest sources of human happiness, 
and it has been well observed by a great philoso- 
pher, that if man were deprived of hope and sleep, 
life would be no longer desirable. 

When in ordinary health, and engaged in the 
common pursuits of life, hope is attended with 
many of the favourable effects of a fortunate event, 
without possessing its physical disadvantages; be- 
cause the expectation of happiness does not affect 
us so excessively as its enjoyment. Besides, it is not 
liable to those interruptions, from which no human 
pleasure is exempt; it is employed principally with 
ideal or imaginary objects, and keeps within the 
bounds of moderation; and the sense of happiness 
associated with hope, very often far exceeds the 
satisfaction received from immediate enjoyment; 
consequently, it has frequently a more beneficial 
influence on health than good fortune realised. 

It has likewise great influence on man when la- 
bouring under bodily disorder, whether of an acute 
or chronic character, since its effects are diametri- 
cally opposite to those produced by fear. It exhi- 
larates the spirits, and augments the energy of the 
heart and nervous system; moderates the pulse; 
renders the respiration fuller and freer; and acce- 
lerates the secretions. It is, consequently, found 
of great service in all disorders, to excite hope in 
the mind of the patient by all proper means. 

Hufeland has most wisely added, if such are the 
advantages of hope, when restricted to objects of 
a sublunary nature, what may not be expected 
from the effects of that emotion, when it embraces 
higher objects? For it is the hopes of a happy 
immortality alone, that can make life of any real 
value, or renders the burthens of it easy and sup- 


w His hand the good man fastens on the skies, 
And bids earth roll, nor feels her idle whirl." 


Joy is a very exhilarating, and, therefore, a bene- 
ficial passion, when indulged in moderation; but 
when sudden or excessive, it is sometimes hurtful 
even to those in health, and more especially to the 
invalid. Any very gratifying intelligence should 
always be cautiously communicated to the sick and 

Anger is universally known to be exceedingly 
injurious to health, and unfavourable to long life. 
In respect to it, I have merely to remind my rea- 
ders, that every one may gain a great command 
over his angry passions by resolute exertion, and 
how certainly such command will contribute to 
our peace and happiness, I need not attempt to 
prove. A lady in the author's connexion, had 
been for many years noted for the excessive irri- 
tability of her temper, but being at length fully 
conscious of it, and resolved to conquer it, she fol- 
lowed up her resolution with so much decision and 
perseverance, as afterwards to become as remarka- 
ble for placidity as she had before been for the in- 
dulgence of irritability and anger. 

The studious cultivation of the kind and vir- 
tuous dispositions, are of as much importance to 
health and longevity, as they are to our advanc- 
ment in life, and this fact cannot be too strongly 
enforced on the reader's attention. Kindness — 

" Gives the flower of fleeting life its lustre and perfume, 
And we are weeds without it." 





The chief rules in regard to clothes are, 1. That 
they should be made of soft or pliable materials, 
so as not to obstruct the free and easy motion of 
the limbs, or the circulation of the fluids in any 
part of the body. 2. They should be made of 
such a shape, as to be comfortable from their ease. 
3. They ought not to be warmer than is necessary 
to preserve the body in a proper degree of tempera- 
ture. 4. Our garments, more especially those next 
the skin, should be made of substances easily clean- 
ed when necessary. 4. They should be suited to 
the constitution and age of each individual. 

The four principal sources of human clothing- 
are, linen; cotton; ivool, and silk. 

The use of linen cloth, as an inner garment, 
was long considered as a most fortunate discovery, 
at a time when, owing to neglect of cleanliness, 
mankind were often extensively afflicted with a 
number of severe infectious disorders. It is un- 
doubtedly a very useful article of clothing, al- 
though it cannot properly be compared, in this 
respect, to cotten, or wool. Its disadvantages are, 
that it is unfavourable to perspiration, and that it 
too readily retains the perspirable humours, and, 
therefore, if not very frequently changed, is apt to 
check the cutaneous excretion, as is proved by the 
disagreeable cooling sensation produced by a linen 
shirt, when much soiled. 

Cotton may be considered as an intermediate 
substance between animal wool and linen. It in- 


ereases warmth, and rather promotes perspiration, 
while it parts with the perspired humours it im- 
bibes, more readily than linen. It is a species of 
garment which is cheap, and well calculated for 
various purposes. It seems to be peculiarly well 
adapted for the garments of women, or those who 
live much within doors, being light, pliable, and 
promotive of the excretion by the skin. 

In hot climates, where perspiration abounds, cot- 
ton-cloth, for inner garments, is evidently superior, 
in point of wholesomeness, to linen. I cannot state 
my own opinions on this subject better than by 
transcribing the words of Dr. James Johnson, whose 
great experience in the prevention and cure of the 
diseases of tropical climes, renders his remarks on 
the present point worthy of particular regard- 
He says: — 

" When we enter the tropics, we must bid adieu 
to the luxury of linen — if what is both uncomfort- 
able and unsafe, in those climates, can be styled a 
luxury. There are many substantial reasons for so 
doing. Cotton, from its slowness as a conductor of 
heat, is admirably adapted for the tropics. It af- 
fords a covering which is cooler than linen; inas- 
much as it conducts more slowly the excess of ex- 
ternal heat to our bodies. But this is not the only 
advantage, though a great one. When a vicissitude 
takes place, and the atmospherical temperature 
sinks suddenly far below that of the body, the cot- 
ton, still faithful to its trust, abstracts more slow- 
ly the heat from our bodies, and thus preserves a 
more steady equilibrium there. To all these must 
be added the facility with which it absorbs the per- 
spiration; while linen would feel quite wet, and, 
during the exposure to a breeze, under such circum- 


stances, would often occasion a shiver, and be fol- 
lowed by dangerous consequences."* 

Dr. Johnson further observes, and very correct- 

" That woollen and cotton should be warmer 
than linen in low temperatures will be readily grant- 
ed; but that they should be cooler in high temper- 
atures will probably be much doubted. If the fol- 
lowing easy experiment be tried, the result will de- 
cide the point in question. Let two beds be plac- 
ed in the same room at Madras, we will say, when 
the thermometer stands at 90°; and let one be cov- 
ered with a pair of blankets, the other with a pair 
of linen sheets, during the day. On removing both 
coverings in the evening, the bed on which were 
placed the blankets will be found cool and pleasant; 
the other uncomfortably warm. The reason is ob- 
vious. The linen readily transmitted the heat of 
the atmosphere to all parts of the subjacent bed; 
the woollen, on the contrary, as a non-conductor, 
prevented the bed from acquiring the atmospheri- 
cal range of temperature, simply by obstructing the 
transmission of heat from without." 

This proves the superiority of flannel to linen, 
as an article of clothing in warm climates, under all 
circumstances; but it must not, therefore, be sup- 
posed, that flannel garments arc equal to cotton, in 
such countries. In general, they are not, because 
they are heavier, and much too slow a conductor 
of heat from the body. Besides, the spiculas of 
flannel prove too irritating there for common use, 
and increase the action of the perspiratory vessels 
on the surface, where our great object is to mo- 

* Dr. Johnson on tropical Climates, page 52 


derate that process. In some situations in India, 
where the atmospheric temperature is liable to great 
and sudden changes, as in Ceylon, Bombay, and 
Canton, flannel is a safer covering than cotton, and 
Dr. Johnson says, is adopted in those places by 
many experienced and seasoned Europeans. 

Woollen garments are of great service to the in- 
habitants of all cold and temperate climates, more 
especially where the vicissitudes of temperature 
are frequent and considerable. Flannel produces 
a moderate warmth, promotes perspiration, readi- 
ly absorbs the perspired humours, and easily parts 
with them again by evaporation, on account of the 
porous nature of the substance. These are great 
advantages, and render the use of flannel, in dress, 
of inestimable service to the valetudinary and the 
aged, and all those subject to any severe chronic dis- 
order in the chest, bowels, &c. Hufeland has justly 
remarked, that it is a very salutary dress to those 
who have begun to decline in years; to all cold and 
phlegmatic temperaments; to all who lead a seden- 
tary life; to individuals subject to cough or frequent 
colds, gout, diarrhoea, and partial congestions of 
blood; to all nervous patients, and convalescents 
from severe chronic disorders; to persons who are 
too susceptible of the impressions of the atmosphere; 
and lastly, in such climates and pursuits of life as are 
exposed to frequent and sudden changes in the 

Flannel is also well adapted for infants* and young 
children, especially in autumn and spring. Older 
children do not require it, and all persons under, 
forty in good health, should reserve it as a resource 

* The celebrated John Hunter's receipt for rearing healthy 
children, was, " plenty of milk, plenty of sleep, and plenty of 
flannel." He ought to have added, plenty of exercise in the 
open air, without which all the others wiil be unavailing. 



for their declining years. At this period, the flan- 
nel age may be said to begin, in general, at forty- 
four or five, from which time it becomes more and 
more useful and necessary, as years advance with 
us. But it ought not to be habitually worn at night. 
By far the best practice is, to throw it off in bed, 
unless from great debility or age, sufficient warmth 
cannot be ensured by a moderate quantity of bed- 

Those who have cold legs and feet, are never 
comfortable nor healthy; they should, therefore, 
always wear worsted stockings and flannel drawers, 
which, especially if united with daily friction, will 
tend very much to promote a free and sufficient 
circulation in the lower limbs, and be greatly con- 
ducive to health. The weakly and sedentary ought 
to pay particular attention to this, for they cannot 
reasonably hope to preserve any tolerable measure 
of health, without maintaining a free state of the 
skin, and the feet being one of the chief conduc- 
tors of perspiration from the body, regard should 
constantly be had to promote so salutary a secre- 
tion. * 

* The present general use of cotten and silk stockings is 
liable to many strong objections. This is another point in 
which we have departed from the wise practices of our fore- 
lathers, to the prejudice of our health and longevity. Stowe 
informs us, that " King Henry the Eighth did weare only cloth 
hose, or hose cut out of ell-broad taffety." Queen Elizabeth was 
the first royal personage in this kingdom who wore any other 
\han cloth stockings. " In the second year of Queen Elizabeth, 
1560, (says Stowe) her silk woman, Mrs. Montague, presented 
Her Majestie, for a new year's-gift, a paire of black knit silk 
3tocki?igs, the which, after a few days, wearing, pleased her 
Highnesse so well, that she sent for Mistris Montague, and 
asked her where she had them, and if she could help her to 
any more, who answered her saying, ' I made them very care- 
fully of purpose only for your Majestic, and seeing these 
please you so well, I will presently set more in hand.' • Do 
so, (quoth the Qucene,) for indeed [ like silk stockings so well, 


Flannel should be frequently changed, particu- 
larly if worn at night. When washed, it must be 
well shaken, and hung up to dry, if possible, in the 
open air. On no account, should it be dried near a 
fire, as that encourages shrinking. 

Silk is better calculated for an outer, than an in- 
ner garment, and for habits of elegance and of show, 
than of real utility. 

All kinds of fur are objectionable, when worn 
next the skin, as they stimulate too much, and do 
not allow the perspired matter to escape. A flan- 
nel pectoral or stomacher is much to be preferred 
to one made with fur. Dressed hare skins, as they 
are called, are, therefore, not so valuable as a co- 
vering for the chest and stomach, in winter, as a 
clean layer of porous flannel. 

Chamois leather is often found a very useful ar- 
ticle of clothing, more particularly for those trou- 
bled with rheumatism, or anomalous chronic pains 
in different parts of the frame. Dr. Uwins, of Bed- 
ford Row, has found an under waistcoat of this 
article of much service in his practice, and has very 
strenuously urged its adoption by all rheumatic sub- 
jects, from September or October to May, inclusive. 
This leather washes like linen, only it must not be 
washed in hot water. For the first day or two, it 
usually feels cold and uncomfortable, but soon be- 
comes, to many persons, more comfortable than 
tlannel. If the lower extremities of the body arc 
much affected with rheumatism, drawers also, made 
of the same material, should be worn. It is pro- 
per to have several sets, and to change them fre- 
quently.* The following case affords a satisfac- 

because they are pleasant, fine and delicate, that henceforth I 
will wear no more cloth stockings.'' " 

The priee is about sixteen shillings a set. ■ 


tory illustration of the good effects of this leather, 
in fixed rheumatic pains. 


"A noble Lord has recently communicated to 
me, a simple mode, by which he was cured of a 
most severe rheumatic complaint. 

He had suffered incessant pain in his hips and 
shoulders, for almost thirteen months, particularly 
at night, and could not walk without the support of 
sticks, or some person's arm. He cannot recollect 
how it happened, but it came on gradually. After 
trying innumerable other remedies without success, 
he was advised by a most respectable member of 
the medical profession, to put on both drawers and 
an under waistcoat of chamois leather, which, in o 
very few days, gave him so much relief, that he 
could walk and even ride, without pain, and in the 
course of three weeks, at the most, he was entirely 
cured. This was in the year 1807-8, and he has 
had no return of the complaint since. 

The drawers were tied at the ancles; but that is 
not necessary, unless the lower joint of the leg is 
affected with rheumatism. The under waistcoat 
had sleeves. It lapped over a little; had no but- 
tons; but was tied with strings in the front. He 
left off wearing the drawers and under waistcoat 
about three years ago, (Anno 1812,) in order to 
preserve them as a resource, in case the rheuma- 
tism should return. They were left off in the 
spring, and a flannel waistcoat and cotton drawers, 
used in their stead, which he had commonly worn 
before the rheumatism had attacked him. 

He has recommended it to a great many people, 
of all ages, and with almost invariable success. 


There is at this moment, in the house with him. 
a gentleman of seventy years of age, who has 
been entirely relieved by it, though he had suffered 
many years from rheumatism." * 

In regard to the form of the various articles of 
dress, I have chiefly to observe, that they ought 
to be easy, and free from all constriction. The 
covering of the head should invariably be light 
and cool ; and the neck cloth and garters, in par- 
ticular, ought to be worn loose. 

Those who are desirous of avoiding corns, or 
of curing them when produced, as well as of 
walking with ease or elegance, must have their 
shoes adapted to the natural shape of the foot, and 
sufficiently large to be perfectly easy, without 
being so big as to prevent a firm step. Shoes that 
require the assistance of an instrument, to put the 
feet into them, are always too small. Shoes with 
a thick sole are far the best for active walking 
exercise.! These articles ought to be made with 
leather, that is, impervious to water. Some say the 
" Currier's Dubbing" is the best nourisher oi 
leather, and renders it as soft as satin, and imper- 
vious to wet. Dr. Willich suggests the following 
composition for making the leather water-proof. 
One pint of drying oil, two ounces of yellow wax, 
two ounces of spirit of turpentine, and half an 
ounce of Burgundy pitch, should be carefully 
melted together over a slow fire. If the smell of 
the turpentine or pitch is unpleasant, add a few 

* Sir John Sinclair's Code of Health, p. 523. 

f The best slippers are a pair of thick old shoes, or such as 
are made stout, and on purpose; the worst, those of plaited 
cloth. Dr- Kitchiner has very correctly remarked, that slippers 
of plaited cloth make the feet tender, and are a hotter cover- 
ing for them in the house, than we give them when we go 


drachms of some cheap essential oil, as of laven- 
der, juniper, &c. : with this composition new shoes 
and boots are rubbed, either in the sun, or at some 
distance from a fire, with a sponge or soft brush: 
This operation is to be repeated as often as they 
become dry, until they are fully saturated. In 
this manner, the leather becomes impenetrable by 
water, and so soft and pliable, that it never shri- 
vels nor grows hard or inflexible. 

Lord Bacon has well observed, that great store 
of clothes, either upon the bed, or the back, relaxes 
the body; but at the present day we are not much 
in danger, in this country, of wearing too many 
clothes. The fair sex, in particular, generally err 
on the opposite extreme. It should be remember- 
ed that the more sedentary men become in their 
habits and pursuits, the more do they stand in 
need of warm clothing, especially in a changeable 
climate; and as we are now very generally much 
more sedentary than our forefathers, so ought we 
to clothe somewhat warmer, whereas the fact is, 
we in general clothe lighter, particularly about 
the feet and legs. 

There can be no reasonable objection to our 
adapting our dress to the season of the year, al- 
though we ought in winter to maintain a proper 
degree of warmth by exercise, and in summer 
due coolness by great temperance, rather than by 
excess of clothing in the former case, or by a de- 
ficiency in the latter. Some have maintained that 
our clothing should be nearly the same at all sea- 
sons, but nature teaches us to clothe lightly in the 
summer. No one, however, should ever make 
any alteration in their winter's dress till May is out, 
and we ought to resunie it again on the last day of 
August. October and November, February and 
March, are the months which demand in general 


the warmest clothing, on account of the great and 
sudden vicissitudes of temperature so commonly 
felt at those periods. 



It is well known that horses which are to run a 
race, and men who are about to contest in boxing, 
or in battle, are always previously trained, for the 
purpose of gaining wind and strength; and it is 
equally well known, that during this process of 
training, they become in reality much more pow- 
erful, and astonishingly improve in health. I 
have nothing to do here with training for running 
a race, or fighting a battle, but it is reasonable to 
suppose, that a process which is universally found 
of so much service to the bodies of men and ani- 
mals, when resorted to for the purposes of public 
contest, would be of equal advantage when em- 
ployed with a view of promoting the general 
health and strength, in persons following the ordi- 
nary pursuits of mankind; and as experience has 
fully realized this expectation, I think, it cannot 
fail to be beneficial to my readers to explain the 
art of training for health. * Indeed, training 

* " The advantages of the training- system are not confined 
to pedestrians and pugilists alone — they extend to every man ; 
and were training generally introduced instead of medicines, 
as an expedient for the prevention and cure of diseases, its 
beneficial consequences would promote his happiness, and 
prolong his life." Dr. Kitcldner on Long Life. 

" Our health, vigour, and activity, must depend on regimen 
and exercise ; or, in other words, upon the observance of 


mainly consists in combining the most correct 
diet, with daily vigorous exercise in the open air, 
and therefore the present section will present, at 
one view, and in a small space, that diet and regi- 
men which is most powerfully influential both in 
the preservation and restoration of health. It 
will be extracting, as it were, the marrow of what 
has been advanced in the preceding sections, for 
the more ready and perfect instruction of, at least, 
many of my readers. 

The art of training for health, consists, then, in 
resorting with steadiness to a correct use of solid 
and liquid food, exercise, air, and sleep, a little- 
preparative medicine being also generally neces- 

1. Preparative Medicines. In the commence- 
ment of training, it is, for the most part, desirable 
to take a gentle emetic of from sixteen to twen- 
ty grains of ipecacuan powder, in water, and in 
two days after a mild purge; for which purpose I 
think there can be hardly any thing superior, in 
this instance, to two grains of calomel and five 
grains of compound extract of colocynth, made into 
a pill, and taken at bed-time. Where the habit is 
gross, and the secretions particularly unhealthy, 
this pill may be advantageously repeated to the se- 
cond or third time, at intervals of a week; but if 
these circumstances are not present, one purge 
will suffice. The emetic and purgative now or- 
dered, have the effect of speedily clearing the sto- 
mach and bowels, and thus getting rid of any ac- 
cumulations that may be oppressing those import- 
ant organs. 

2. Solid Food. The diet of persons when 
trained, must be extremely simple, consisting al- 

those rules which constitute the theory of the training pro- 
cess." Captain Barclay ou Training, p. 239. 


most exclusively of animal food, stale bread or 
biscuit, and the most digestible vegetables. Veal 
and pork are never given, and lamb but seldom. 
Beef, mutton, and venison, are the chief meats. 
Most men will live longer on beef, without change, 
than on any other kind of animal food, and it is the 
most nourishing;* but mutton and venison are 
reckoned to be most easily digested. The meat 
must always be fresh, for if salted, it would occa- 
sion indigestion and thirst. Fat, being of a greasy 
nature, fouls the stomach, and must be avoided; 
but the lean of fat meat is the best. Sometimes, 
for a change, fowl, rabbit, or partridge, may be al- 
lowed once a week. The legs of fowls, being 
very sinewy, are much approved. No fish what- 
ever is allowed, being indigestible, and deficient in 
point of nourishment. No cheese is given on any 
account, and but very little butter, sometimes none. 
When a good measure of strength has been acquir- 
ed, eggs may be permitted, very lightly boiled;, 
but not more than one in the day. A little tur- 
nip, French bean, or potato, may be taken after 
the individual has been in training for three or 
four weeks, or more, and the tone of the digestive 
organs is improved ; but they must be laid aside if 
they create the slightest uneasiness. Soft or new 
bread is never given. Biscuit is very proper, and, 
indeed, in most instances, to be preferred even te 
stale bread. 

Pies and puddings are never permitted, nor any 
kind of pastry. The only condiments allowed are 

* The following' fact proves the nutritious qualities of beef. 
Humphries, the pugilist, was trained by Ripsham, the keeper 
of the jail at Ipswich. He was sweated in bed, and afterwards 
twice physicked. He was weighed once a day, and at first 
fed on beef; but as on that food he got too much flesh, they 
were obliged to change it to mutton. Shiclair's Code of Health 



salt and vinegar. Salt may be taken in moderate 
quantity, but always sbort of producing thirst. A 
little vinegar also is not objectionable, especially 
when there is a tendency to corpulence. 

As to the mode of dressing the animal food 
taken, it is far better to have it broiled, than roast- 
ed or boiled, by either of which nutriment is lost, 
and particularly by boiling. Care should be taken 
not to have the meat too much done. 

The quantity of solid food indulged in must be 
very moderate. This must, in some measure, de- 
pend on the circumstances of age, strength of the 
digestive powers, and nature of the indisposition 
present; but, as a general rule, the solid food ought 
not to exceed sixteen or seventeen ounces a day. 
See page 86. The number of meals, and times of 
eating, must be regulated according to the princi- 
ples laid down at page 71. 

3. Liquid Food. It is an established rule in 
training, that the less we drink, in moderation, the 
better; because too much liquid dilutes the gastric 
juice, in the stomach, (the grand agent in diges- 
tion,) and encourages soft unhealthy flesh. Much 
drinking also promotes undue perspiration, which 
is weakening, if not occasioned by exercise. On 
no account, must the quantity of three English 
pints, during the whole day, be exceeded, taken at 
breakfast and dinner, and a little after supper. 
In many instances, six and twenty ounces is as 
much as is proper, (page 86.) For breakfast and 
tea, the liquids may consist of tea, or milk; and at 
dinner and supper, home-brewed malt liquor, or 
wine. In training merely for strength, good old 
malt liquor, drawn from the cask, is reckoned the 
best drink at dinner and supper; but in training for 
health, malt liquor is not always found to agree. 
The patient must, in a degree, be guided by his 


own feelings, on this and some other points, al- 
though I believe home-brewed malt liquor will, in 
most cases, be found of much service, particularly 
after a month's close training. Jackson, the cele- 
brated trainer, affirms, " if any person accustomed 
to drink wine, would try malt liquor for a month, 
he would find himself much the better for it." 
Sometimes malt, liquor may be advantageously 
taken with a toast in it. The quantity must not 
exceed half a pint at dinner, and a third of a pint 
at supper. If the person trained insists on wine, 
white wine is preferred to red; and two or three 
glasses may be allowed after dinner, but none af- 
ter supper. It may be taken diluted with water, 
or not, as it is found to agree best.* Spirits are 
never permitted on any consideration whatever, 
not even with water. Liquor is never given be- 
fore meals, unless in cases of extreme thirst. Un- 
der thirst, the liquor should never be taken in 
great draughts, but by mouthfuls, which quenches 
the thirst better, the chief object required. 

No fluid is ever taken hot. The water drank 
should be as soft as possible. Toast, and water is 
very proper, t 

4. Exercise. Trained men should always be- 
gin their exercises early in the morning: in sum- 
mer, at six, and in winter, at half past seven, or as 
soon as it is light. The best exercises are walk- 
ing, riding on horse-back, friction with the flesh- 
brush, fencing, quoits, tennis, playing at shuttle- 

* In case of training for health, under any severe chronic 
disease, I think wine, in any quantity, is very generally inad- 

•f- Race-horses get drink twice a day only. Soft water is 
preferred ; and it is given cold, and never hot, except during 
physic or illness. In training game-cocks, the water is got of 
as soft a qualdy as possible, and a little toasted bread is put 
into it, to make it still softer. 


cock, and the use of the dumb-bells. These are 
used alternately as convenience serves, but no day 
must be suffered to pass, without one of the first 
two being used as an out-door exercise, and also 
one of the remainder as an exercise at home. The 
time of exercise abroad is never to be less than 
four hours, and should generally be from five to 
six hours, taken at twice or thrice: the period of 
the in-door exercise being at least one or two 
hours. If a muscular man, during his training, 
gets much thinner, his exercise must be reduced; 
but if he gets fatter, or more muscular, it is a proof 
that it agrees with him. 

Captain Barclay says, "Beside his usual or re- 
gular exercise, a person under training ought to 
employ himself in the intervals in every kind of 
exertion which tends to activity, such as cricket, 
bowls, throwing quoits, &c, that during the whole 
day, both body and mind may be constantly occu- 

The great object of exercise is to increase and 
regulate all the secretions and excretions, more par- 
ticularly the secretions of the stomach, intestines, 
and liver, and the excretions by the skin and kid- 
neys; to augment the size and power of the mus- 
cles; to impart tone to the nerves; and where the 
habit is corpulent, to take off the superfluities of 
flesh and fat; to reduce the quantity of blood, and 
to make it thinner and lighter. By these means, a 
person gains a good appetite, a quick digestion, se- 
renity of mind, and a surprising increase of wind 
and strength. 

Exercise, on the whole is undoubtedly the most 
essential branch of training. It is a general rule, 
that pei'spiration from exercise, never weakest 

* On Training, page 231. 


The union, however, of vigorous exercise and 
pure air, is the grand secret for the acquisition 
of strength. Diet itself seems to be but a secon- 
dary consideration, provided the quantity of food 
is small. 

5. Air. The necessity of pure air is uniformly 
insisted on in every kind of training. The more 
man is in the open air, the firmer his flesh be- 
comes; and trained persons soon learn almost to 
disregard the weather, only they must change their 
clothes if wet. Rising early in the morning is con- 
sidered indispensable: in summer, at five or six, 
ond in winter, at seven. 

Among the ancients, to be exercised in a pure 
Salubrious air, was deemed of essential importance. 
The principal schools of the Roman Athletse, were 
accordingly established at Capua and Ravenna, 
places, the air of which was reckoned the most 
pure and healthy of any in Italy. They carried 
on their exercises in the open air, in all sorts of 
weather, the changes of which soon ceased to affect 

Under training for health, it is indispensable to 
breathe the open air for four hours a day, at least. 

6. Sleep. Persons trained for health and strength, 
ought to go to bed early, (at ten o'clock^precise- 
ly.) and are allowed from seven to eight hours' 
sleep. As they take a great deal of exercise, they 
require rest, and eight hours' sleep may be safely 
allowed, but very rarely more. Under a proper 
system of training, the sleep is sound, almost un- 
broken, and therefore exceedingly refreshing. 

In addition to the preceding rules, it should be 

observed, that great cleanliness of the person is 

necessary, and therefore bathing is recommended. 

But, bathing either in tepid or cold water, has also 



considerable effect in strengthening the body, and 
may, consequently, be used twice or thrice a week, 
when practicable. For very weakly persons the 
tepid bath at about 93°, brought down gradually 
to 90°, is to be preferred, especially in cold wea- 
ker; but stronger patients may use the cold bath. 
The cold or tepid shower bath is very useful. — 
When the bath cannot be had, I recommend spong- 
ing the whole body with water (the chill hardly 
taken off,) every morning, on getting up, following 
it quickly with a good deal of rubbing with a hard 

Keeping the feet perfectly dry at all times is 
highly necessary. 

Effects of training on the body. All my rea- 
ders will readily perceive, that the training now 
described must invariably have great and important 
effects on every part of the body, and especially 
on the head, the stomach, the lungs, the skin, the 
bones, and the nerves. 

In regard to the head, a man, in the best ordina- 
ry health, when he strikes or receives a few blows, 
becomes giddy; but this defect is corrected in 
the course of training, and giddiness is prevented. 
Severe blows on the head are also soon reco- 

Its beneficial effects on the stomach and lungs 
are remarkable. The appetite is sharpened, and 
the digestive powers so improved, that all sense 
of uneasiness and oppression at the stomach are re- 
moved by it, and the food taken is digested easily 
and perfectly. Jackson, the trainer, states that a 
course of training is an effectual remedy for bilious 

By improving the condition of the lungs, train- 
ing ensures a free and powerful respiration, which 


is a sign of good health, and is essential to a fresh 
colour of the face, to lively spirits, to cheerful feel- 
ings, and to the healthy and vigorous actions of 
the body. The chest is made much more open by 
it. Boxers when trained, surprisingly improve 
their wind, as it is said: that is, they are enabled 
to draw a deeper inspiration, to hold their breath 
longer, and to recover it sooner, after it is in a 
manner lost. 

It has likewise a great influence on the skin, 
which it renders clear, smooth, well-coloured, and 
clastic, although formerly subject to eruptions. — 
Even the skin of a fat person, when he grows lean- 
er under training, does not hang loose about him, 
but becomes elastic and tight. 

On the bones and nerves training has considera- 
ble effect. The former become much harder and 
tougher; indeed, it is well known, that the bones 
of race horses, for example, are as hard as ivory, 
and that the bones of boxers are very seldom bro- 
ken, even under the violent blows they receive. 
The nerves are most effectually strengthened by it, 
so much so, that it is asserted, that no trained per- 
son was ever known to become paralytic, or to con- 
tinue under nervous depression. 

The shape likewise is greatly improved ; the 
belly in particular is reduced, which is absolutely 
necessary for a freer respiration. The chest is ex- 
panded, and different muscles and parts which are 
unduly enlarged, are reduced, while those which 
are preternaturally small, gain an increase of bulk. 
We have a proof of this in the fact, that persons 
who are regularly and constantly exercised, as fen- 
cing masters, &c. retain their appearance, carriage, 
nM shape, to the last, which is much in favour 
both of their health and longevity. 


Such is the nature, and such the effects of train- 
ing. By the processes described, as an able wri- 
ter correctly remarks, the nature of the human 
frame is totally altered, and in the space of a few 
months, the form, the character, and the powers of 
the body are completely changed, from gross to 
lean, from weakness to vigorous health, and from a 
breathless and bloated carcass, to one active and un- 
tiring; and thus, the very same individual, who 
but a few months before, became giddy and breath- 
less, on the least exertion, has his health not only 
improved, but frequently is enabled to run many 
miles, with the fleetness of a greyhound, or in a 
shortness of time hardly to be credited, to walk 
above a hundred.* 

But these effects are not only remarkable, they 
are also permanent. In training for wrestling or 
fighting, indeed, men are brought to the very top 
of their condition, as it is termed, in a very short 
period, by carrying the process to an extreme, and 
it is found they cannot be kept in that condition for 
any length of time; but in training for health, 
our objects are different, and, therefore, the mode 
of proceeding is in some measure different; we 
proceed in as certain, though a less forcible man- 
ner, in order that the effects should be both great 
and lasting. 

In conclusion, I would express my hope, that 

* " The training art has arrived to such great perfection in 
Uiis country, as to throw new lights on the physical changes 
which the body is capable of receiving from preventive mea- 
sures, even in advanced years. Its vigour is thereby augment- 
ed, the respiration improved, by lessening the size of the belly, 
and the skin cleared from its impurities, and so much impro- 
ved in elasticity, colour and tone, in the space of two or three 
months, as to denote the perfection of the art." Dr. Jumeson 
mi the Changes of the Human Bod", {>. 342. 


the hints here given respecting the uses of train- 
ing, may be found of advantage, not only by my 
unprofessional, but likewise by my professional 
readers. Medical men pay far too little attention 
to it in the treatment of chronic diseases. 






I shall here bring before the reader at one view, 
the most safe and effectual methods of reducing 
any inordinate or disagreeable corporeal bulk. 
My principal reason for treating on this subject 
distinctly, is for the benefit of my fair readers in 
the higher ranks of life, many of whom ruin their 
health and complexion, in order to gain a slender- 
ness of waist, and what they consider beauty of 
form. It behoves them, however, to remember, 
that physical beauty is necessarily associated with 
the flowing curve, and the crescent, and, therefore, 
that to the perfection of beauty in the female fig- 
ure, the existence of some degree of embonpoint, 
is absolutely necessary. Nature abhors, so to speak, 
the straight line and the angle, so commonly com- 
bined with leanness, almost as much as she does a 

It may be remarked here, that absolute corpu- 
lency certainly lessens the probability of longevi- 
ty very much. In the middle period of life, per- 


sons who indulge in much animal food, or other 
very nutritious aliment, and lead inactive lives, are 
liable to have the functions of the vital organs so 
greatly disturbed with fat, as to lead to premature 

Much sleep, much food, and little exercise, are 
the principal things which make animals grow fat, 
and, therefore, the means of preventing or redu- 
cing corpulence depends chiefly on a proper regu- 
lation of these points. 

Old Parr's rule was, "If you are inclined to 
get fat, keep your eyes open and your mouth 
shut." Or, in other words, be moderate both in 
your sleep and diet. The sleep of such as are cor- 
pulent, ought to be very moderate, that is, about 
five hours and a half, and never exceeding six 
hours, in the twenty-four. They should always 
sleep on a hard mattress, and the room ought to be 
as airy as possible. 

The quantity of food must likewise be lessened, 
more especially in the liquid form. It is not re- 
quisite for me to state the exact quantities thai 
ought to be taken, for every individual will be able 
to ascertain that for himself; but they should rare- 
ly, if ever, exceed the amount mentioned, as pro- 
per for the weakly and sedentary, at page 86. In- 
deed, the liquids should, if possible, be reduced as 
low as 1G or 20 ounces in the day, and it is cer- 
tain the food ought not to be of so nourishing a 
quality as is there allowed. Malt liquors, sweet 
wine, and fresh beef, are very fattening. Milk, 
eggs, butter, and sugar, are also considered produc- 
tive of fat. Of solid food, the best articles for the 
corpulent, are fish, particularly white fish boiled, 
poultry, and vegetables, the last of which, of course, 
includes bread and fruit. No preserved fruit, how- 
ever, is allowed. Of liquid aliment, the best is 


cider, perry, light acidulous wines, tea, and water. 
The wines to be preferred are Red Hermitage, 
Rhenish, Hock, Barsac, Claret, and Champaigne; 
but those who can do without wine will be most 
successful in their plan of reduction. Cream of 
tartar and water forms a useful drink for the corpu- 
lent, during the summer.* 

But exercise is, in general, one of the most ef- 
fectual and most agreeable methods of reducing 
corpulence. In the use of athletic exercises, the 
most corpulent men invariably become much 
thinner, while their flesh is rendered firmer, t 
When Cribb went to Scotland, to be trained for 
his great contest with Molineaux, he weighed six- 
teen stone, (fourteen pounds to the stone;) but be- 
fore he fought, he was reduced forty-one pounds. 
A gentleman was reduced by training,:); from nine- 
teen stone to sixteen stone four pounds. He had 
before a fulness of blood in his head, but by train- 
ing was restored to perfect health. At page 133, 
I have related the case of a gouty gentleman, who, 
by exercise, reduced an uncommon degree of cor- 
pulence, until he became of a very moderate and 
even handsome figure. The exercise of walking 
also is favourable to leanness. By his thousand 
mile match, Captain Barclay was reduced, from 
thirteen stone seven pounds, to eleven stone two 
pounds; and a merchant in Leith succeeded in re- 
ducing corpulency, by going every morning to 
the top of Arthur's seat near Edinburgh, a hill 
about 814 feet above the level of the sea. 

* If taken in large quantity, however, it is extremely apt to 
injure the tone of the stomach. 

j- Four game cocks, brought to their athletic weight by train- 
ing exercises, Scc.were killed and found to be very full of blood, 
with large hearts, large muscles, and no fat. 

* It will be recollected that 1 have already stated exercise 
in the open air to be the chief branch of the training art. 


"Mr. Rye, {says Dr. Robinson, in Observations 
on the Discharges of the Human Body, p. 84,) 
was a strong well-set, corpulent man, of a sanguine 
complexion; by a brisk walk for one hour before 
breakfast he threw off, by insensible perspiration, one 
pOuild of increased weight; by a walk of three hours, 
he threw off two pounds of increased weight. " 

The celebrated Dr. Cheyne, of London, in a state 
of bad health from growing to the enormous size 
of 32 stone, at the age of thirty-five, and re- 
quiring the entire side of his carriage to open as a 
door to admit him, reduced himself ten stone by 
change of diet and exercise, and afterwards enjoyed 
good health merely by a strict adherence to the use 
of milk, vegetable food and active exercise, until 
the time of his death, in the year 1742, at the ad- 
vanced age of seventy-three. 

On the contrary, Mr. Bright, of Essex, who 
partook largely of nourishing food, and malt li- 
quors, weighed, at the age of twenty-five, forty- 
one stone, and neglecting his active exercise, for 
three years, he died at the early age of thirty. 
The famous Daniel Lambert ate and slept moder- 
ately, drank only water, and took much exercise 
in his earlier years, but paying less attention to ex- 
ercise and regimen some years before his death, 
he died suddenly of excessive corpulency in the 
year 1809, at the age of forty, when he was found 
to weigh fifty-two stone, or seven hundred and 
thirty nine pounds! 

All the modes of exercise recommended under 
the section on that subject, at page 113, may be 
alternately resorted to by corpulent persons, with 
great advantage, and among these, friction ought 
to claim particular notice, as a domestic exercise, 
from all ladies who are desirous of reducing their 
embon-point. It must be used by the individual 


herself, for half an hour or more, twice a day, be- 
ing carried successively over every part of the 
frame, and especially over the joints. Friction 
perseveringly employed over the legs, ankles and 
feet, will have considerable effect in reducing the 
size, and improving the form of those parts. Dr. 
Cheyne has correctly observed, that almost every 
body knows what well currying (a species of fric- 
tion) will do to horses, in making them sleek and 
gay, lively and active, insomuch that it is equiva- 
lent to half their food; and we are certain that. 
what this mode of exercise will do in horses, it will 
also do in man, because the effects of such a prac- 
must be the same on all animal bodies. 

There are two points in particular, in which ex- 
ercise, as a means of reducing corpulence, has a 
great and manifest superiority over all other me- 
thods of reduction, which are the improvement it 
effects in the form, in point of beauty, and the be- 
neficial change it induces in the skin. 

In regard to the first of these points, it is worthy 
of particular remark, that since exercise is one of 
the most natural and most effectual means of 
strengthening the whole frame, and of improving 
the general health, both of which it effects by pro- 
moting a due circulation, perpetual absorption, and 
correct and sufficient secretions, and thus removing 
the redundancies of fat and flesh, and supplying 
their deficiencies, it must, consequently, alter and 
amend the form of various parts, independently of 
the mere reduction of the quantity of fat. For a 
slight consideration of these facts will enable every 
one to perceive, that the natural tendency of so sa- 
lutary an expedient as exercise, must ever be, not 
only to reduce the quantity of fat generally, but to 
render what does remain firmer, to distribute it 
equally in its proper situations,* and also to aug- 

* See page 24. 


merit the size of the muscular parts of the system, 
which are in this respect always deficient in cor- 
pulent habits, and indeed in all who are sedentary, 
until they attain their proper magnitude and form, 
whereby the symmetry of the figure will be pro- 
portionately increased. It is from this cause, that 
well currying^ so invariably improves the figure of 
horses, as well as their health. 

Another circumstance adverted to above, is the 
favourable change exercise induces in the skin, 
which is an improvement much r desired by all per- 
sons, especially the fair sex, and which cannot be 
so certainly and satisfactorily obtained by any 
other means whatsoever. As I have remarked un- 
der Training, the skin is thereby rendered clear, 
smooth, well-coloured, and elastic. 

In regard to the medicines sometimes used 
to reduce corpulence the chief of which are 
acids, soap, and foxglove, they are neither so safe, 
nor so efficacious, as the preceding measures. In 
small quantities, they have scarcely any effect in 
the reduction of size, and if employed in large doses, 
they inevitably injure the health, and, when long 
continued, often ruin it. Indeed, vinegar and other 
acids will frequently augment the general bulk, by 
proving pernicious to the health; at which we can- 
not be surprised, when we reflect, that excessive 
fatness is often dependent on some derangement in 
the constitution, and that then, whatever increases 
this derangement very commonly augments the 
size. It may be laid down as a rule, that, under all 
circumstances, a small quantity of food and sleep, 
and plenty of active exercise, are by far the most 
certain and efficacious, as well as the most agreeable 
means of reducing inordinate corporeal bulk; and 
there can be no doubt, that if persons were fully 
aware of the value and efficacv of these methods. 



they would never for a moment think of resorting 
to any medicine, for the accomplishment of this 



Bilious and ttg^ous disorders are very gene- 
rally so closely connected in respect to their origi- 
nal causes, and are so commonly found in the 
same individual, that we may properly couple 
them under the present section. 

1. Bilious disorder is in general founded simpl) 
in derangement of the stomach and intestines. 
These organs are of the first importance in the 
human economy; the)'- are, so to speak, the greal 
arbiters of health and disease, of life and death; 
they hold almost every organ and function in the 
body under a strict and necessary dependence; 
consequently, when weakened and deranged, a 
numerous train of uneasy or distressing sensations 
and unhealthy symptoms take place, and among 
the latter, acidity of stomach, and derangement ol 
the biliary secretion, are often prominent. Hence 
arises the term bilious." 

* Shakspeare has most happily described the importance ol 
the stomach — 

«* It is the store -house, and the shop 
Of the whole body. True it is, 
That it receives the general food at first ; 
But all the cranks and offices of man, 
The strongest nerves, and small inferior veins, 
From it receive that natural competence 
Whereby they live. 

Coriolamis, Act 1, Scene 1. 


2. Such being the importance and extensive 
connexion of the stomach and bowels, we cannot 
be surprised to find their disorder give rise to 
great and distressing nervous irritability. The 
majority of nervous affections centre in an unheal- 
thy condition of these organs. 

3. A great fuss is now made about the liver, but 
its secretion is entirely under the control of the 
stomach and first intestines, and the most certain 
and effectual mode of ensuring a healthy flow of 
bile, is to keep the stomach and small intestines 
in good order. Nervous disorder is most effectu- 
ally prevented or cured by the same means. To 
bring these organs into a healthy state, and to 
keep them so — 

4. Carefully observe the diet, in point of quali- 
ty, as directed at pages 15, 17, 20, and the follow- 
ing pages; and in regard to quantity, as recom- 
mended at page 86. 

5. Eat slowly, and masticate your food well. 

6. Take four hours' exercise in the open air 
daily, by riding on horseback or walking; and 
when in the house, be as much in motion as pos- 

7. Use some active domestic exercise, as the 
shuttle-cock, or dumb-bells, or some gymnastic 
exercise, as fencing, throwing the discus, or playing 
at foot-ball, for one hour, at least, daily, in addi- 
tion to your riding or walking. 

8. Employ friction over the region of the sto- 
mach and bowels, every morning on rising, and 
every night on going to bed, for ten minutes or 
more at each time. 

9. Sponge yourself all over every morning, on 
first getting out of bed; in the summer, with cold 
water, in the winter, with tepid water. Rub your- 
self dry quickly after it, with a very rough towel. 



10. Shun the deleterious air of all populous 

11. Go to bed at ten o'clock, and rise at six, 
winter and summer. 

12. Keep the feet warm at all times, and the 
head cool — 

13. And the bowels regular; but be sure not to 
teaze them. All that is necessary, is to have thr 
bowels comfortably exonerated once a day, or 
once in two days. Try to do this by diet, friction, 
and exercise If these means fail, take the aperient 
pill, No. 2, occasionally, at bed time.* But re- 
member that diet, properly resorted to, will, in 
the majority of instances, be quite equal to ensur- 
ing; a regular movement of the bowels. Of this I 
am fully persuaded, t 

14. One of the best medicines for improving 
the tone of the stomach and bowels., and promo- 
ting healthy bile, is the pill No. 1. 

15. If that does not succeed, half a pint of com- 
pound decoction of sarsaparilla, twice a day, with 
the pill No. 3, every night, will often effect greai 

* The following prescription, very extensively used by a 
physician of Philadelphia, may be safely recommended, as 
one of the best, for keeping the bowels open. 
Take of 

Powdered Rhubarb, one drachm ; 
Powdered Ginger, half a drachm ; 
Castile Soap, one scruple. 
Mix them well together, make them into a mass, and divide 
it into thirty pills. 

Three or four may be taken at bed time, or more if neces- 
sary. It is in some cases advantageous to take one or two 
before each meal, instead of at bed time. 

If the patient is much troubled with flatulence, the propor- 
tion of ginger should be increased; if there be much acidity 
of the stomach with heart-burn, it will be well to increase the 
proportion of soap, 
f The use of bread made of the unbolted flour will in most 


16. For acidity on the stomach, or occasional 
depression of spirits, ten grains of the carbonate 
of ammonia, in two ounces, of camphor mixture, 
and a tea-spoonful of tincture of cardamoms, is 
excellent. Or the ammonia may be made into 

17. In regard to medicine, there are few things 
more necessary than for you to avoid taking much 
mercury. A little mercury, combined with anti- 
monials, may be sometimes very useful, but much 
of it can rarely fail to be destructive. Always 
distrust the man who proposes or aims at saliva- 
tion, and never submit to it, until you have had a 
consultation with, at least, two other professional 
men of ability, who are known not to be blindly 
attached to this infamous practice. 

18. If your case be one of protracted and se- 
vere indigestion, bilious or nervous disorder, ne- 
ver forget that your chief dependence for relief 
and cure, ought to be on strict diet, constant ex- 
ercise, and early rising. Here medicine is of 
secondary importance, although often highly bene- 
iicial. In such a state, the maxims, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 
and 9, in particular, should claim your especial 
regard. The more severe and protracted the ma- 
lady, the more strongly are patients disposed to 
seek relief from medicine, and to neglect diet and 
regimen as of ver}>- inferior value: the reverse of 
this is the high road to health. 

I cannot conceive of any case of bilious or ner- 
vous disorder, whatever may be its kind or pecu- 
liar circumstances, which will not be greatly bene- 
fited by attention to the preceding rules, and I 
know, from a good deal of experience, that in the 

cases induce a regular evacuation of the bowels, and obviate 
the necessity of resorting to medicines for that purpose. It 
<:hoiild be eaten when stale only. 


majority of instances, it will be perfectly suc- 



1. Both the prevention and cure of consumption 
mainly depend on maintaining and increasing the 
general strength or energies of the frame. You 
should, therefore, ever bear in mind, that under a 
disposition to this disease, if you can preserve the 
general tone of the system unimpaired, you are in 
a state of security, and that, on the other hand, 
whatever tends to lower this, threatens your very 
existence. When actually labouring under an at- 
tack of this malady, the same principles must be 
strictly adhered to; any other can hardly fail to be 
fatal. Consequently, all debilitating measures 
must be studiously avoided, even where there ap- 
pears to be some inflammatory action present. If, 
under such circumstances, a lowering plan be ne- 
cessary, it must never be carried beyond the exi- 
gency of the case, and ought to be dropped imme- 
diately the object is accomplished. 

2. In accordance with these principles, the diet 
of the consumptive should always be nutritious, but 
unirritating; their exercises should be constant and 
active, and carried on in the open air; their cloth- 
ing must be warm, but not oppressive; and their 
sleep in sufficient quantity. 

3. The diet of the consumptively disposed, should 
consist chiefly of the more perfect meats, as beef, 
mutton, venison, game, &c. with oysters, eggs, 
milk, bread, biscuit, and good malt liquor. Home- 
brewed malt liquor, of a moderate strength and 


ijody, is far better in this case than wine. When 
the disease has actually commenced, the diet must 
be regulated by the physician, according to the 
stage and circumstances of the case, but it should 
then almost invariably be very nutritious, although 

4. Remember that daily active exercise is of the 
ilrst importance, both as it respects the prevention 
and cure of this complaint. Every part of the body 
must be exercised, but more especially the arms, 
shoulders, and chest;* for which purpose, the use 
of the dumb-bells, lead exercise, shuttle-cock, and 
throwing the discus, are peculiarly valuable. Ne- 
ver forget the extraordinary power of riding, in the 
cure of this disease, (see page 122.) Many con- 
sumptive invalids are annually lost through depen- 
dence on medicine, and removal to a foreign cli- 
mate, who would be saved by constant exercise, 
and Penzance or Devon air, combined with suitable 
medical attention. 

5. Sponge the whole surface of the body every 
morning, with lukewarm water, or vinegar and 
water. Do it quickly, and follow it with a good 
deal of rubbing with a rough towel. Sometimes it 

* It should be a grand object with all those disposed to con- 
sumption, to enlarge the capacity of the chest, which may cer- 
tainly be done by suitable exercises, perseveringly employed. 
It is proper to remark here, that the size of the iungs depends 
on that of the chest, and the quantity of nourishment received 
by an animal, depends in a great measure upon the size of the 
lungs ; because as the blood is the pabulum of life, and it all 
passes through the lungs in the course of circulation, before it 
can be conveyed to the different parts of the body, the animal, 
therefore, can receive no more of this invigorating fluid than 
the capacity of the lungs is capable of transmitting. Hence 
the broadest chested men are always the strongest; and it is 
observed, that those animals which have the broadest chests 
uniformly get the soonest fat, from the greater quantity of 
nourishment they receive. 


is a good plan, after this has been done, and you 
are well clothed on the inferior parts of the body, 
to continue sponging the neck and chest for ten 
minutes. Dr. Stewart, of Erskine, has found this 
very useful in many cases, both of consumptive 
tendency, and the actual disease. He recommends 
a mixture of equal quantities of vinegar and water, 
at first tepid, and gradually brought down to its 
ordinary temperature, as the patient gains strength. 

6. Studiously shun elevated spots of ground, and 
every place where the air is keen Much expo- 
sure during an east and north-east wind must also 
be carefully avoided. 

7. It is not one of my objects to recommend me- 
dicine in this volume, but one of the best medicines 
for the consumptive cough, is a strong decoction of 
coltsfoot and maiden-hair, sweetened with honey; 
of which the patient may take a tea-cupful, thrice 
a day. In making the decoction, these herbs 
should be used in equal proportions. 

8. Fly from the use of much mercury, as from 
( to you) a deadly poison. 




Habenda ratio valetndinis: utendum exercitationibus modi- 
cis; tantum cibi et potionis adhibendum, ut reficiantur vires, 
non opprimanlur. Cicero. 

1. Remember that the preservation of your 
health depends chiefly on daily attention to three 
things, viz. Exercise in the open air; a very mo- 
derate quantity of the most nourishing and digesti- 
ble food; and sufficient sleep at night. 

2. Nothing can supply the place of exercise ia 
the open air. Without it, the body very soon 
inevitably grows languid, the circulation is im- 
peded, the general nervous energy impaired, the 
digestive functions enervated and disordered, and 
the body becomes an easy prey to some chronic 
disorder. Hence arises depression of spirits, irri- 
tability of temper, pain and confusion in the head, 
great weakness of stomach, and the other many 
distressing symptoms with which students and lite- 
rary men are so often afflicted. Temperance itself 
is no safeguard against the mischiefs arising from 
deficient exercise. 

3. The period for which exercise abroad ought 
to be taken daily, may be seen under that article 
at page 157. It should not be less than two hours 
in the morning, and an hour in the evening. A 
long walk of four or five miles out, once or twice 
a week regularly, is strongly recommended: to re- 


turn after resting an hour, and taking some slight 

4. When in the house be as much in motion as 
possible. Have dumb-bells, and a couple of flesh- 
brushes, always at hand, that you may every half 
hour or hour steal a few moments from your stu- 
dies to exercise the superior extremities with the 
former, and the inferior limbs, and the head and 
neck, with the latter. When you can, as a change, 
run briskly up and down stairs several times, or 
use the shuttle-cock. Accustom yourself also to 
read aloud for some time daily, out of any work 
before you: this promotes the pulmonary circula- 
tion, and has a favourable influence on the diges- 
tive organs.* Lord Bacon's advice to change the 
posture at least every half hour, is worthy of much 

5. In exercising the body, endeavour at the 
same time to get as much fresh air as possible. 
Therefore, when you cannot walk or ride out for 
any considerable time, throw open the windows of 
your study as often as you rise to exercise within 
doors; or go for a few minutes into the garden, and 
there use the shuttle-cock, or dumb-bells, or fight 
with your own shadow, (see page 156,) taking 
care to leave the windows of your apartment wide 

6. Be careful not to have your study over-heated 
at any time. Its temperature ought not to be above 
60°. If in the winter you feel chilly, it is far bet- 
ter to rise from your studies, and warm yourself 

* Many of the greatest men of antiquity were in the habit 
of reading - aloud, for the purposes of health and strength. 
Pliny in the thirty-sixth epistle of his ninth book, after des- 
cribing other practices of his, says, '** Mox orationem Grsecam 
Latinchnve clare et mtente, non tarn vocis causa, quam stomachi 
tego, pariter tamen et ilia jirmalur." 


by running up and down stairs, or other active ex- 
excise, than by heaping coals on the fire. 

7. Your food must be small in quantity, and of 
easy digestion, for two reasons, first, because any 
tolerable degree of health cannot otherwise be pre- 
served, under the sedentary mode of living pur- 
sued by all literary men; secondly, because it is 
essential to clearness of ideas. The quantity of solid 
and liquid food proper for studious persons, may 
be seen stated at page 86, and the best in point 
of quality, will readily be understood from a care- 
ful perusal of the chapter on diet. It should, how- 
ever, be remarked, that in recommending a rather 
spare diet here, I do not mean to advise such as 
would debilitate. Br no means. The ordinary 
pursuits of a literary man, with the confinement 
imposed on him, are, in themselves, sufficient} 
exhausting, and he ought, therefore, to increase 
and maintain his general strength by every possi- 
ble expedient, that is adapted to his pursuits. On 
ordinary occasions, his food should, consequently. 
be nourishing, although small in quantity. 

8. When exhausted by intense thinking, do not 
endeavour to recruit your strength by wine, or any 
strong liquor, but get a new laid egg, beat the 
white and yolk together in a tea-cup, then put a 
table-spoonful of good sherry wine to it, with half 
a table-spoonful of water, and a little sugar, and 
drink it. Then take a nap for half an hour, or an 
hour. This plan will be found highly restorative. 

9. In regard to sleep, Lord Mansfield's advice 
to cultivate sleep, ought never to be forgotten. 
Mental exertion is peculiarly exhausting to the 
body, and nothing so effectually removes this ex- 
haustion as sound sleep. Indeed, sound repose is 
essential to the well-being of every literary cha- 
racter, and he who trifles with it acts a part little 



superior to of a mad-man, for he does that 
Avhich is not only undermining his constitution, but 
which will also certainly obscure his perception, 
and weaken his judgment.* Besides, the man 
who has sufficient sleep, and in due season, can al- 
ways get through much more work in a given time, 
than he who neglects his repose. See page 170. 

10. Mark, the above refers to sleep at night. 
Laying in bed late in the morning, or sleeping in 
the day, will not make up for sitting up late at 
night. Ten o'clock is the best hour for studious 
men to go to bed at, and they may rise at four or 
five in the morning. If they rise at four, they 
will require an hour's sleep after dinner, because 
six hours' sleep in the twenty-four is rarely suffi- 
cient for such persons; but it is best to take repose 
for seven hours, or seven hours and a half, at once, 
during the night, than to make up for its deficien- 
cy by a nap in the day. 

11. Let your clothing be warm, but never op- 
pressive. The feet and legs especially ought to be 
•kept warm, by wearing woollen drawers and stock- 
ings in the colder months. A flannel waistcoat is 
also of great service. Plutarch lived to a good old 
age, and strongly recommended all studious per- 
sons to guard their lower limbs well from cold. 

12. In order the more effectually to promote ;i 
free circulation in the feet and legs through the 
day, use the flesh-brush for fifteen or twenty mi- 
nutes, regularly every morning, on first getting out 
of bed. The same practice should be pursued also 
at night. 

* Most studious men are convinced that mental application 
carried on during the night, to the abridgment of their hours 
of sleep, is injurious to the health of the body ; but they are 
not equally aware, that it is as certainly destructive to the 
most eHectual exertion of the mind. This fact, if properly 
considered, cannot but have its due weight with them. 


1 3. Never read in bed, nor while walking for These are most pernicious customs, ex- 
tremely injurious to the eyes, and the general 

14. To preserve the eyes, bathe them well with 
cold water, on rising in the morning, and again in 
the evening. For this purpose have a large basin 
full of cold water, and stooping over it, with the 
eyes shut, apply the water freely to them, for 30 
or 40 times successively. 

15. Carefully regulate the bowels. If possible, 
by diet* and friction, but if recourse must be had 
to medicine, let it always be mild, and in no larger 
doses than are necessary just to exonerate the in- 
testines.! The pills No. 2, will be found very ap- 
propriate and pleasant in their operation. A pro- 
per regulation of the bowels, with daily exercise in 
the open air, will do much towards relieving and 
removing that irritability of temper, and general 
nervous irritation or uneasiness under which lite- 
rary characters are so apt to suffer. 


16. Pay still greater attention to the quantity 
and quality of your food, to exercise, and sleep; 
and to the regulation of the bowels. For as your 
mental exercises are then greater than at other 
times, so must your attention to the preceding 
means of promoting health and strength be also 
more exact, in o/der that the energies of your mind 
may be preserved unimpaired. The condition of 

* The bran bread or bread made of the unbolted flour, will 
generally answer this purpose. 

+ We'would particularly recommend for this purpose the 
pills noticed at page 218. 



the body has a great effect on that of the mind, 
and it is therefore, certain, that an author's com- 
position will vary very much, at different times, 
if he neglects to attend to the rules now laid down. 
17. When composing, I would recommend the 
following quantities of food. The kind of food 
most proper is likewise noticed, and the times of 

Breakfast at 

Luncheon, at 


f Of Venison, 
I Chicken, c 

Dinner, at 
Half-past two."* 

Stale bread, dry toast, or plain 
I biscuit, (no butter) 
I Tea, (black) with milk and a 

little sugar. ... 
An egg, lightly boiled, with a 
thin slice of bread and butter. 
Toast and water. 

Mutton, Lamb, 
r Game, (Roast 
or Broiled.) ... 
J Bread, (no vegetables.) 

Toast and Water, or Soda Water 
I White Wine, or Genuine Claret 

(one small glassful) 
? Stale bread, biscuit, or dry toast 
Tea, at j with very little butter. - 
seven or eight "l Tea (black,) with milk and a ? 
' little sugar. 3 

Total in the day, 12 ounces of solid, 
ounces of liquid food. 

It will be seen from this table, that I consider a 
smaller quantity of food advisable during the heat 
of arduous composition, than at any other time, 
and I have no doubt, that literary men and stu- 
dents will universally find a great advantage from 
adhering to these quantities, kinds, and periods. 
It is well ascertained that a spare diet tends very 
much to augment delicacy of feeling, liveliness of 
imagination, quickness of apprehension, and acute- 
ness of judgment. The majority of our most es- 
teemed works have been composed by men whose 
limited circumstances compelled them to adopt 








and 20 


very frugal repasts,* and we have much reason to 
suppose, that their scanty fare contributed in no 
small degree to the excellence of their productions. 
Indeed, under great mental exertion of any kind, 
it is always found necessary to observe a very 
spare diet. The gallant defender of Gibraltar, 
(General Elliott, afterwards Lord Heathfield,) for 
instance, lived for eight days during the Siege, 
taking only four ounces of rice a day, as solid 

18. Do not neglect to take as much exercise as 
possible during this period. Authors act very un- 
wisely to neglect this branch of regimen, because 
if the circulation of the blood, and other bodily 
functions, are preserved in a healthy state by ex- 
ercise, (and they cannot be so preserved without 
it,) the mind must be proportionately invigorated, 
and the composition produced will be more uni- 
formly excellent than it otherwise would be. 

* The great Tasso was reduced to such a dilemma, that he 
was often obliged to borrow a crown from a friend to subsist 
through (he week ; and the inimitable Cervantes is supposed 
to have almost wanted bread. The author of Gil Bias resided 
in a little cottage on the borders of Paris, and never knew 
what it was to possess any moderate share of the comforts of 
life; and the poet Spencer languished out his life in great dis- 
tress. Even our incomparable Milton, as every one knows, 
sold his Paradise Lost for ten pounds to a bookseller, being too 
poor to undertake the printing it on his own account. It would 
be easy to mul iply instances of the scanty repast to which 
many of our mos> illustrious authors have been compelled to 
submit, if the facts were not already too well known to render 
it unnecessary. 

Dr. Franklin, in his earlier days, as I have already remarked, 
ate and drank very sparingly. His meal frequently consisted 
of only a biscuit, or a slice of bread and a bunch of raisins, 
with a glass of water; or, of a basin of gruel; and he men- 
tions, that his progress in study was proportionate to that 
clearness of ide s,and quickness of conception, resulting from 
preat temperance in diet. 



19. Seven or eight hours' sleep in the twenl.3 
four, I need not farther insist on. 

20. Before you commence any particular study 
or composition, it is a good plan to clear out the 
bowels, and ensure healthy secretions from them 
and the other digestive organs, by taking a mild 
purge, for which purpose I recommend twelve 
grains of calomel to be added to the aperient pills. 
No. 2, of which one pill may be taken at bed 
time. Men of letters cannot have a better aperi- 
ent pill than this, and they may repeat the dose 
now ordered once a week, or as often as they find 
the stomach or bowels disordered.* But when 
their very particular engagement has terminated, 
T should prefer the pills as described under rule 15, 
for common use. 



1. Your grand object should be to avoid that 
delicacy of habit which your mode of living has 
a natural tendency to produce, arid which not only 
lays the foundation for the majority of your com- 
plaints, but renders you an easy prey to disease. 

2. Endeavour, therefore, to preserve and aug- 
ment your general strength, which will enable you 
to bear with less risk of injury, the heated rooms, 
light dress, late hours, and mental excitement, to 

* Too frequent purging should be avoided ; it weakens the 
bowels, and confines or aggravates their derangement. Ac- 
tive purgatives should be seldom resorted to, without profes- 
sional advice. 


which you are necessarily exposed; for our ability 
to resist the influence of injurious customs is always 
in proportion to our bodily vigour. It is true that 
your fashionable habits have a direct tendency to 
impair this strength, but there are means which 
you, as fashionable people, may use to counteract 
this effect, and from a neglect of which you fre- 
quently suffer sooner and more severely than you 

3. Be, then, as much in the open air as possible, 
every day between breakfast and dinner. You 
ought to be daily four or five hours in the air, and 
when in town, do not allow a little distance to pre- 
vent your breathing the fresh air of the country, 
for at least an hour of that time. 

4. Take also much active exercise every morn- 
ing, abroad. Beware of thinking exercise in a car- 
riage sufficient for health. You should walk, or 
ride on horseback, for one or two hours daily. It 
is to be regretted, that riding on horseback is not 
more general among ladies in the higher classes of 
society, since, if the time so commonly spent in 
carriages, were devoted to horse exercise, it would 
very much conduce to the improvement of their 
health, and the prolongation of their lives. 

5. When you go out in the day in a carriage, 
let it invariably be an open carriage. Endeavour, 
by your example, to make open carriages fashiona- 
ble, at all seasons, excepting when it rains, or is in- 
tensely cold. Those who accustom themselves to 
an open carriage, find it very beneficial to health, 
and dislike close carriages. 

6. When in the house, make a practice of exer- 
cising for an hour daily, at any convenient time, 
by using the dumb-bells, shuttle-cock, &c. Fric- 
tion with the flesh-brush is likewise highly worthy 
of your notice. 


7. In order that you may enter with spirit into 
the various exercises now recommended, both at 
home and abroad, remember that without doing so, 
it is impossible to preserve your health, and also, 
that in adopting these plans, you not. only invigo- 
rate and prolong life, but improve the condition of 
your skin and complexion, (see pages 121, 214,) 
and add to the elegance of your carriage and figure, 
(see p.iges 208, 214.) The celebrated Dr. Tissot 
has correctly observed, that if young ladies in po- 
lite life were brought to ride on horseback constant- 
ly, both their health, and external charms, would 
thereby receive advantage. 

8. At meals, be sparing in the quantity, and se- 
lect in the quality of your food. Confine yourself 
to as few dishes as possible; and never eat between 
meals. The lighter wines are the best for you, 
particularly Claret, Hermitage, Barsac, and Hock; 
and of these, the less the better. 

9. You require seven hours and a half, or eight 
hours' sleep, in the twenty-four. Get. that between 
eleven and seven o'clock, when not engaged in 
company; and when so engaged late, retire to bed 
immediately on returning home. After having 
been much excited, if you find you cannot sleep, 
rise from the bed, and use some of the means de- 
tailed under the section on sleep, at page 165, more 
particularly washing the feet in warm water, or 
cooling yourself and the bed effectually, as advised 
at page 184. 

10. Always wear a stomacher or pectoral of 
clean warm flannel. In winter it may be double. 

11. Keep the feet and legs warm. Woollen 
socks are highly advisable. If they are thought to 
increase the size of the feet too much, wear thick 
flannel along the sole of the shoe, and particularly 
in the evening. It is a most pernicious practice to 


wear warm stockings and shoes in the day, and 
those that are thin at night, on account of the great 
difference of temperature thereby occasioned. 
Woollen drawers are much to be recommended. 

12. To avoid colds, to which your habits render 
you very susceptible, and which frequently lay the 
foundation of obstinate complaints, accustom your- 
self to the use of sponging with lukewarm or cold 
water, every morning, on first getting out of bed. 
As remarked under Maxims for the Consump- 
tive, it should be done quickly, and followed with 
a good deal of rubbing with a rough towel. It has 
considerable effect in giving tone to the skin, and 
maintaining a proper action in it, and thus proves a 
safeguard against the injurious influence of cold, 
and sudden changes of temperature. Therefore, a 
person who is in the habit of thus fortifying the 
skin, will be much less likely to suffer injury from 
the heated rooms, and the change from a hot room 
to the cold air, to which all fashionable society is 
much exposed, than those who neglect it. 

13. When you go from a warm room into the 
cold air, always put on a good deal of additional 
clothing, and let it, if possible, come down to the 

14. When heated, beware of the active use of 
fans. A very gentle use of them can hardly be 
injurious, but if freely employed under a state of 
perspiration, they will seldom fail to check it, and 
thereby to occasion an unfavourable change in the 
skin of the face and neck. They often cause pim- 
ples in the face and neck, and injure the complex- 

15. Be particular in regulating the bowels, by 
diet, or very mild medicine, as the pills, No. 2, 




1. The grand secret, or fundamental rule, for 
preserving health in hot countries, is, to keep the 
body cool. 

2. Attend to the usages of the best informed 
natives, adapting them to your own habits, as much 
as European and Oriental customs can assimilate. 

3. Rise early, and retire early; take morning 
exercise in a carriage, or on horseback, but careful- 
ly avoid getting the feet wetted with the morning 

4. Take exercise again in the evening, but stu- 
diously avoid it in the heat of the day. Be care- 
ful that you are not injured by the evening dews. 
An incautious exposure to them in hot climates, is 
a fruitful source of fatal diseases. 

5. Daily shampooning and friction are highly 
conducive to health. 

6. Never let your exercise be immoderate, but 
while in motion, have no dread of perspiration 
even to excess. Those who, unfortunately, do 
not perspire freely, generally soon fall victims to a 
climate whose heat almost always produces copious 
perspiration, even under a state of rest. 

7. When under a profuse perspiration, avoid 
sitting down in cool or cold situations, and more 
especially, if exposed to a draught or current of air. 

8. Shifting in India four or five times a day is 
usual. When strong perspiration has been excited, 
phift; taking care to rub the body well with clean, 


and rather coarse towels. But linen thus soiled 
should not be directly consigned to the wash, but 
be carefully dried, and worn again, once, or even 
twice. This is no infringement on the laws of per- 
sonal cleanliness, while it has a very salutary effect 
on the health, because the linen so treated is much 
less exhausting to the skin, than that which is fresh 
from the mangle.* This is more particularly wor- 
thy of attention from the newly-arrived European, 
whose skin is highly excitable. 

9. Breakfast early, and partake moderately of 
tea or coffee, with dry toast, stale bread and butter, 
or biscuit. A little rice, or fish, with curries, oc- 
casionally, will not be objectionable, but flesh meat 
should be avoided. 

10. At dinner eat and drink moderately, of tht 
most wholesome and digestible solids and liquids. 
Avoid ham, tongue, and all such indigestible arti- 
cles, but partake in moderation of curry — a dish 
never absent from the table of the natives. Al- 
ways pass by rich made dishes. The best hour 
for dinner is two o'clock. 

11. If compelled to dine late, your repast should 
be proportionately light. In this case, you will 
require your tiffin between twelve and one, which 
should consist of light curries, or the like, with a 
glass of wine, and a little fruit. 

12. Abstain from eating at supper, any thing 
beyond a little fruit and a biscuit. 

13. During the first year's residence, the indul- 
gence in fruit must be very limited. An early ex- 
cess in this respect, always lays the foundation of 
slight disorders in the stomach and bowels, and 

* This practice is strongly recommended by Dr. James John- 
son, a distinguished member of the profession, who spent some 
years in India, and has written most ably on the diseases of 
that region. 


often paves the way for dysentery, and other very 
severe diseases. The pine-apple and mango; 
particular, must be eaten very sparingly at first. 
It is an excellent practice always to eat a little stale 
bread, or biscuit, with fruit. 

14. A little wine is perhaps necessary under the 
exhausting influence of an eastern sky, but it should 
be only a little, and the kind used is important. 
Madeira, Sherry, Hock, Claret, and Hermitage, 
are the best sorts. A mixture of wines is improper. 
Malt liquor appears unsuitable, unless where much 
exercise is taken. All spirits are rank poison. 

15. Avoid eating and drinking in the course of 
the forenoon, or between breakfast and an early 
dinner. If water, cooled by means of saltpetre, be 
required to allay thirst, let such not be drank when 
perspiring freely. A settlement remarkable for 
mortality, became healthy, when the inhabitants 
abstained totally from drinking sangaree and punch 
in the forenoon; as these pernicious beverages ex- 
cited a derangement of the liver and intestines, 
productive of remittent fevers and agues, too fre- 
quently followed by fatal malignant disorders. 

16. An hour's sleep, after an early dinner, is a 
refreshing indulgence, required by the nature of 
the climate. 

17. Every second morning, bathe the whole 
body with cold water, and follow the native plan, 
of throwing the water on the head, by means of a 
small bucket, wiping perfectly dry after it with a 
coarse towel. The bath is very refreshing on ris- 
ing unrecruited from a bad night's rest; and power- 
fully obviates that train of nervous symptoms, so 
universally complained of by Europeans between 
the tropics. The tepid bath is preferable for such 
as have long resided in India, and for those who 
have a fixed liver complaint. 


18. Never bathe after having been out, and 
brought on perspiration, either by walking, or any- 
other exercise. In such a case, be content with 
rubbing the body well with clean towels, or with 
a corner of a towel wetted with lukewarm water. 

19. On such mornings as the bath is not used, 
sponging the body with cold water, is highly ad- 

20. On getting unavoidably wet, keep in motion 
until you get to your own house, or that of a friend. 
Then shift instantly ', and let your skin be well 
wiped with a dry towel; but by no means rub the 
body with any spirit, or take any internally in the 
form of punch, toddy, or in any other manner. The 
best cordial, in this case, is a little warm tea, cof- 
fee, or broth. 

21. On being sensible of any unpleasant taste 
in the mouth, or on experiencing any thing like a 
shivering lassitude; or any pains in the arms, or 
limbs, apply directly for medical advice; or, in its 
absence, take a pill composed of three grains of ca- 
lomel and five grains of compound extract of co- 
locynth, and lessen the quantity of your food, es- 
pecially of animal food and wine. 

22. Cotton and woollen garments are the best 
for Europeans in India. Linen must be given up. 
See page 190. 

23. While travelling in any hot climate, invari- 
ably lessen your ordinary quantity of animal food 
and wine, at least, one-half. If your resolution 
will extend so far, give up wine, and all fermented 
or spirituous liquors altogether, at that time. 


Errors in pagination: 
p. 237 incorrectly numbered 137 
p. 238-239 omitted in numbering 




Most of the rules given under the preceding 
section, are likewise applicable here, but we may 
With propriety add the following. It should be 
observed, that more care is necessary, to preserve 
health and prolong life in the West India Islands 
than in India; a fact which Europeans residing 
there will do wisely to remember, and attend to. 

1. On landing, keep out of the heat of the sun; 
or, when out of ddors, use an umbrella. For some 
time, walk at leisure, and take no violent exercise 
in the heat of the day. When a man is much fa- 
tigued, sickness is at hand. In other words, he is 
liable to a remittent fever, to receive contagion from 
miasmata, arising from salt marshy grounds near the 

2. It is particularly necessary here, to avoid 
being chilled after having been heated, and to be 
careful of the evening dews. 

3. On your arrival take some aperient medicine 
once a week, for the first month. Your medical 
attendant will direct the kind and quantity; but if 
he is not at hand, take three grains of calomel mixed 
with two grains of James's powder, and four grains 
of compound extract of colocynth, made into two 
pills, with a little syrup. 

4. Your diet should be particularly sparing the 
first year, as advised under the preceding section, 
which consult also as to the proper exercise, bathing, 
and clothing. The fuller your habit, the more 


sparing must be your diet, and the more you will 
require purgative medicine. 

5. There are a number of excellent fruits in all 
the Islands; take care they are fully ripe; and eat 
little of them at a time, in the morning or after- 

6. If you have a choice, take a house on a rising 
ground, remote from swamps. The low lands near 
the sea are generally very unhealthy. 

7. Strangers are much tormented with musqui- 
toes, but after some time pay no attention to them. 
Be sure, at night, to draw down the musquito-net 
close all around, and brush it well inside with a 
large towel, to kill such musquitoes as may still be 

8. Chigres are a species of flea, that burrow into 
the feet and toes; at first they occasion an itching, 
and then a little red lump, which becomes painful. 
A negro is the best hand to pick them out; and a 
little snuff may be put into the cavity. 


1. Remember that you are going from a tempe- 
rate to a very hot climate, the injurious effects of 
which are felt most by those of a full habit, and 
those who are unseasoned. The time spent in the 
voyage, should, therefore, be a period of prepara- 
tion for the climate you are about to enter into. 

2. This preparation mainly consists in being 
very temperate in diet, and keeping the body cool. 
By a habit of temperance and coolness, you will 
effectually prepare yourself for entering an ex- 
hausting and dangerous clime with safety, and com- 
parative comfort; while an opposite practice will in- 


evitably expose you to numerous inconveniencies, 
and much danger. 

3. Therefore, take little animal food on ship- 
board and less wine. Spirits should on no ac- 
count be taken eVen with water. Whatever animal 
food you take, let it be fresh. Fish forms a desira- 
ble article of diet in this case. Vegetable soups are 
likewise excellent. 

4. Avoid costiveness. A vegetable diet will tend 
to keep the bowels regular, but if it be ineffectual, 
take a little sea water, or salts, or the black draught, 
occasionally. As you approach your destination, 
a dose or two of the pills of calomel and colocynth, 
as directed above at maxim 3, will be useful. 

5. Take care that the live stock be regularly fed, 
and kept clean, otherwise they will soon be in a 
diseased state, and die; or, if killed, not fit to be 
brought to the table. 

6. To moderate sea-sickness, sit at all times in 
good air, and be as much upon deck throughout the 
day as possible. After each fit of vomiting, take 
a small basin of tea, water-gruel, or broth. A little 
ether, or Hoffman's Anodyne Liquor, is sometimes 
very useful in allaying this sickness; half a tea- 
spoonful, or more, may be taken in a little water, 


Take of 
Best Rhubarb, in powder, half a drachm. 
Ipecacuan, in powder, half a drachm. 
Castile Soap, one drachm. 

Mix them well together, and, with a sufficient quan- 
tity of syrup of orange peel, make them into a 
mass, and divide into thirty pills. One to be taken 
thrice a day, in indigestion and bilious affections, 


to give tone to the stomach and bowels, for which 
they are very effectual. 

Take of 

Compound Extract of Colocynth, half a drachm. 
Compound Rhubarb Pill, half a drachm. 
Tartarized Antimony, two grains. 
Oil of Carraway, four drops. 

Beat them together into a mass, adding a little 
syrup of orange-peel, if necessary, and divide into 
twelve or fourteen pills. One to be taken at bed- 
time, when confined in the bowels. 

Take of 

Best Calomel, thirty grains. 
Tartarized Antimony, four grains. 
Guaiacum, in powder, two scruples. 
Opium, in powder two grains. 

Rub these ingredients well together, then form 
them into a mass with conserve of hips, and di- 
vide it into thirty pills. One to be taken every 





Its value in chronic dis- 
orders - - 78, 86 
To authors while com- 
posing - - 228 
Aih, necessity of pure 99 
Difference of air in town 
and country - - 107 
Abernethy, Mr. his opi- 
nions - 98 
Ale, qualities of - - 64 
Animal food - - 1 1, 17 
Anxiety of mind to be a- 

voided - - - 186 

Appetite - 80 

Aperients, use of - - 230 

Prescription for - 243 

Arrow-root - - 33 

Bacon, Lord, quoted 163 

Barclay, Capt. on training 199 

Style of walking - 143 

Bed clothes - - - 181 

Curtains injurious - 182 

Room, best kind of, &c. 178 

Beef, most nourishing food 17 

Tea, not very nutritious 34 

Beer, excellent qualities of 62 

Should be brewed by 

every family - - 63 

Bilious disorder, its nature 

and cure - - 216 

Maxims for the - - 216 

Biscuit, excellent food 26 

Brandy, hurtful - - 65 

Brandy and water to be 
avoided, even when 
weak ... 66 

Boiling ... go 

Breakfast, rules at - 73 

In time of Henry VIII. 74 
Bread, varieties of, &c. 26 
Broths ... 46 

Broiling, preferable mode 

of cookery - 90 

Butter - . 23 

Cadogan, Dr. on gout 148 

Cases of gout - - 133 

Low spirits - 120, 145 

Diarrhoea . - 134 

Indigestion - - 120 

Consumption 124, 125 

Spinal deformity - 129 

Rheumatism - 137, 150 

Nervous disorders - 179 

Watchfulness - 183, 184 

Stiff joints - - 152 

Palpitation of the heart 75 

Cellar for wine - - 61 

Chamois leather, excellent 

for rheumatism - 195 
Cheyne, Dr. his opi- 
nions - - 83, 159 
Corpulency, reduction of 210 
Exercise the most effec- 
tual 212 
Catsup, excellent sauce 22 



Cornaro's system - - 84 
Chronic diseases, causes of 1 16 
Cure of - - - 117 
Coffee - 44 

Cooper, Sir Astiey, his 

opinions - - 132 
Colic, cure ot 135 

Condiments - - 68 

Cough, valuable medicine 

for - - - 22:.' 

Chimney boards - 179 

Chocolate ... 46 
Clothing, rules respect- 
ing - 190, et seq. 
In hot climates - 191 
Complexion, to beautify 

the r - - - 122 
Cookery ... 89 

Convalescents, hints to 52 

Cold, to avoid and treat a 112 
Corking bottles - - 61 
Claret, its qualities, &.c, 

51, 52, 57 
Cheese - 23 

Costiveness, how to treat 218 

Diet 11 

Rules of 1 , 44, 45, 84 

Dinner, period of, &.c. 75 

Diarrhoea, cure of, when 

obstinate - - 135 
Dyspepsia ... 120 
Drinking, times of - 67 

Bating, times of, - - 71 
Eyes, how to preserve the 229 
Eggs, vrry wholesome 20 

Bxercise, indispensable 

to health - - 113 
Excellent rises of - 113 
Quantity and varieties of 

139, 157 
Invaluable in gout 132 

Invaluable in bdious dis- 
orders - - 120 
In Consumption - 222 
In curvature of the spine 129 


Addison's remarks on, 

114, 156 
Fashion, maxims for peo- 
ple of - - 230 
Fasting, occasional, excel- 
lent 88 
Fat ... 25 
Fish, qualities of, - 21 
Food, solid 11 
Liquid ... 35 
Feasting, how to remedy 

its ill effects - - 87 
Feet to be kept warm 194 
Food, most invigorating 11, 17 
Quantity of, tor sedenta- 
ry and weakly - 86 
For active and s'rong 87 
Quantity of, for l.terary 
men and students 228 
Fire - - - 223 
Flannel, excellent quali* 

ties of - - 193 

Indispensable after 194 

Franklin, Dr. his opinions 

and practices 13, 180, 183 
Friction, of great service 

to health - - 147 
Use of, in gout - - 148 
In stiff joints - - 151 
In rheumatism - - 152 

Garters, to be loose, 197 

Gruel, excellent food 42 

Gooseberries 31 

Gout, cure of 148, 149 

Hi art, palpitation of the 75 
Horizontal posture - 175 
Home, John, author of 
Douglas, his temper- 
ance 88 
Hunter, John, his opi- 
nions - 127, 193 
Hours, early, recommend- 
ed as highly condu- 
cive to health and lon- 
gevity - . 174 




Hypochondriasis, causes 

and cure of 119, 145 

Hufeland's opinions 

168, 188, 193 
Introduction - - 9 

Jackson, Mr. the trainer, 
his advice to gain 
strength and health 62 
Jellies not very nutritive 

or digestible - 93 

Johnson, Dr. James, his 
advice, in respect to 
diet - . .121 

To clothing, &c. 191, 235 
His opinion as to the 
cure of gout - 133 

[ndigestion, its causes and 

cure - - 98, 120 
Maxims in - - 216 
Valuable pills for - 242 

Liver, its inferior value 216 
Its secretion under the 
control of the stomach 217 
Lobsters unwholesome 22 

Locke, Mr. his opinions 

141, 181 
Liquid bread - • 62 

Longevity,efFects of diet on 78 
Of exercise on - 159 
Instances of - - 78 
Lungs, how to enlarge 
their capacity, and 
thus to prevent con- 
sumption - - 224 

Mastication, how neces- 
sary 77 

Mattress, hair, excellent 

to sleep on - 181 

Madeira wine : - 52 

Cape - 52 

Meat, various kinds and 

qualities of - • 17 

Mercury, to be avoided 222 


Mercurial pill, a valuable 243 

Milk 39 

Mind, exertion of - 228 

Command of the - 189 

Irritability of, cure for 189 

Mucton, most digestible of 

all meats - - 17 

Nervous disorders, how 

produced - - 119 

How cured - - 119 
Nervous, maxims for the 216, how produced 176 

How cured - - 177 

Palpitation of the heart, 
bad case of, cured - 75 

Pastry, bad 26 

Perspiration, uncommon 

amount of daily - 118 
An important excretion 117 
To promote it - 1 18, 155 

Pills, stomachic - - 242 
Aperient - - - 243 
Alterative - - 243 

Port wine 51 

Regimes, nature of - 94 

Uncommon power of, in 

curing disease - 95 

Exercise, the chief 
branch of - - 94 
Relaxed bowels, cure of 135 
Restorative for men of let- 
ters 51 
Riding, value of - 144 
Cases cured by - 135, 145 
Robinson's Dr. opinions in 
regard to the quantity 
of our food - 83 
Rheumatism, cured - 137 

Salt, uses of 69 

Senses, some people not 
unwilling to deny the 
evidence of their own 122 
Scotch barley broth - 47 



Sleep, necessity of - 165 
Sherry wine - - -52 
Soups ... 46 

Shell fish - - - 22 
Supper - - - 76 

Skin, functions of - -117 
Slippers, best - - 193 
Soda water, useful - 67 

Stomach, most important 

and influential organ 

120, 219 
How to promote its 

functions - - 219 

Sweet wines - 49 

Tea - ... 42 
Temperature, vicissitudes 

of 233 

Tic Douloureux 98 

Tbaikisg fob health 199 

Rental kable effects of 213 

Cap;. Barclay on - 204 

Uwins, Dr. on chamois 

leather - - - 195 

Valetudinarians maxims forl62 

Veal .... 18 

Vegetable food - - 25 

Vinum Britannicum - 62 

Walking, excellent - 141 

Water drinking - 36 

Water, soft, most desirable 37 
Water, toast and, an excel- 

lent beverage 
Water, different kinds of 
Weather ... 
Wesley, Rev. John, his re- 
marks on sleep 
A man who was ever 
anxious to benefit 
Windows, air tight, perni- 
cious ... 
Wine - 
T ble of different kinds 
Quantity of advisable 
Art of preserving 
Injurious to the young 
How to use in case of 
weakness or conva* 












1. Second Edition. 

Contents. — American Biography — Hassler's Tri- 
gonometry — Eulogies on Jefferson and Adams — 
Fossil Remains — Wars and Sports of the Mongols 
and Romans — Doctrine of Contracts — Secret Jour- 
nals of the Old Congress — Mrs. Hemans' Poems — 
Kent's Commentaries on American Law— French 
Revolution, by the author of Waverley — English 
Fashionable Life — Symmes's Theory — Contro- 
versy respecting the Greek Frigates — Souvenirs. 

No. II. 

Contents. — Cooper's Political Economy — Ame- 
rican Drama — Epicurean Philosophy — Italian Mu- 
sic — American Biography— Egyptian Hierogly- 
phics — Natural History — Australia — Political Sys- 
tem of America — Segur's Memoirs — French Li- 
terature — Life of Napoleon, by the Author of Wa- 

No. III. 

Contents. — Theory of Ships — Historical Ro- 
mance — Political Economy — Law of Marriage and 
Divorce — Biography of Chatham — Southern Africa 
— Barrington's Sketches of his own Times — Ger- 
man Literature — Constitutional Law — Florida — 
Negro Slavery — British Colonial and Navigation 


No. IV. 
Contents. — Origin of the Homeric Poems — 
Mexico — Life of Bernardin St. Pierre — Travels of 
Lieutenant De Roos — Gastronomy of the Romans 
Works of Chataubriand — Early American Poetry 
— Egyptian Chronology — Weight and Measures — 
Carter's Letters from Europe. 

The RED ROVER. By the Author of the Pilot, 
Spy, &c. 2 vols 12mo. 

Jilso, a very handsome uniform edition of 


PRAIRIE. In 12 vols, royal 18mo. 

The O'BRIEN'S and O'FLAHERTY'S, a Na- 
tional Tale. By Lady Morgan. In 2 vols. 12mo. 

EARNEST; being an attempt to illustrate the 
first principles of natural Philosophy, by the aid of 
Popular Toys and Sports. 2 vols. 18mo. with nu- 
merous engravings on wood. 

REUBEN APSLEY. By the Author of Braw- 
bletye House, &c. 2 vols. 12mo. 

.«« Sir Walter Scott must learn to bear a rival near the throne. 
His contemporaries are already beginning to pay a divided al- 
legiance. They think, and apparently with justice, that Ho- 
race Smith is second, and only second, to the once sole mo- 
narch." — Monthly Magazine. 

PAUL JONES, a Romance. By Allen Cun- 
ningham. In 3 vols. 12mo. 

«« There is much powerful writing in these volumes ; many 
of their scenes are depicted with extraordinary vigour and 
effect ; and the author has shown himself a poet in every sense 
of the word." — La Belle Assemblee. 

3< ^^Sfir?.^«V>^fl».^?FjV 

AJ^'\/ ,^ 


! '^8^ 


y*\j\j>' "V^» 




- WfcJ/wfcR 


m**yJj * 




NLfl DIDDlflfll T 


<8P :> 

y »->-&jKr- 

1 O >»3W 

> ^ 
3 ^ 

> > 55 > "-- 



' - " i — so